We put little Mac in the guinea pig cage at first light on Tuesday morning. We hoped half-heartedly that if he cheeped a lot Roni would be drawn to him, but we really figured Roni had become someone else's dinner in the night.
Mac was desperate to get out of that cage. His Monday of freedom was prime in his memory, and he had no desire to stay trapped. I called the nature center at the moment they opened, but I had to leave a message.
The day passed quickly as the kids had slept in dramatically after our late night at the ball game. I got no return call, and I began to think I'd need to just pack up Mac and take him in. He was fluttering around the edges of the cage so unhappily, and there was an adult robin on the grass near him. The adult was pulling worms and insects out of the ground--I wondered if it was the mama or papa from the apple tree or a robin responding to Mac's calls. I put together a grocery list, and started gathering my wallet, keys, and phone.
There were 2 messages on my phone.
Huh? How'd that happen?
Then I looked and realized I'd forgotten to take it off "silent" after church on Sunday.
One message was a happy birthday wish (Thank you, Wendy!), and the other was from the nature center informing me that if the bird could fly, the parents were still looking for it because they're used to having to search for their babies in the fledgling state!
Hah! That robin on the lawn?--probably Mac's mom or dad!
I called the nature center back immediately to make sure that 6 days really wasn't long enough for the parents to have given up. I was reassured by a bird rehabilitation professional that the parents would, indeed, still be looking for their babies. All we had to do was put Mac as near the original nest site as possible and his parents would find him and take care of him!
So with joyful heart I relayed the information to E14.
It took less than a minute to do the right thing for Mac.
The hilarious part is that the parents probably would have found Mac and Roni on Monday if we'd just let them alone! We spent that whole long day worrying and worrying and worrying about the birdies dying, but their parents were probably in the area the whole time just waiting for the foolish humans to get out of the way so that they could feed their babies.
Those robins I wrote about who were kind of hovering around on Monday, and I wondered what they were up to--probably they were the parents!
I'll bet Roni is safe and sound with his mom and dad. I'm guessing Mac is, too.
So the joke's on use! Scott and I didn't find out about the robins until late Saturday night. The nature center was closed through the weekend and on Monday. Our first chance to get this information was on Tuesday, so really it all happened in a timely manner, but oh! what a lot of worrying and fussing and work we went through in the mean time!
Lesson 1--Don't mess with wildlife.
Lesson 2--Feathered baby robins will be found and cared for by their parents even after an extended period of time.
What a week!
And it's only Wednesday.