Or should I call them Palm Sunday eggs, because that’s when I found them? I wasn’t intending to participate in an early Easter Egg hunt. It was an accidental discovery, and one that presents somewhat of a dilemma.
Sunday afternoon, I discovered this robin’s nest on the axle of my tractor. I’m afraid that this story isn’t going to have a happy ending, because there’s no way I can leave that nest undisturbed for the month or so that it will take for the eggs to hatch and the babies to fly away. In fact, the robin’s mobile home has already made one small journey.
Most sources of bird information indicate that humans tampering with a nest, such as removing it from the tractor axle, will cause the mother to abandon it. And aside from that issue, there’s no spot close to its current location where it could be relocated.
I noticed the nest after I had used the tractor to haul some ice storm debris. When I went back to take a picture of it, Mama Robin was sitting on it, but was bashful about having her picture taken. So apparently having the “tree” containing her nest disappear for a while and then return didn’t seem to bother her. But future trips will be longer and less gentle. There’s not much chance of those eggs, or hatchlings, remaining in that nest through a month of mowing.
So I’m faced with the dilemma of what to do. If I do nothing, the eggs probably won’t survive. It might be interesting to see how long they last, but that seems a little morbid, like taking bets on when someone will die.
On the other hand, if I move it, the eggs probably won’t survive either. So my choice appears to be whether to intervene and do something which is probably harmful, or stay hands-off and let them die without my help.
I suppose I should just resign myself to the fact that it’s just a couple of birds, that aren’t even birds yet. Lots of birds die every day, and I can’t save them all. These just were unlucky to have a ditzy mom who can’t tell a tractor from a tree.