Empty Nesters.


As you know, when the kids finally leave home and are out on their own, their parents are often referred to as “empty nesters” and an empty nest is exactly what I found at the home where I’ve been monitoring the baby robins I discovered last Sunday.

You’ll recall, when I shared their photo a few days ago, how they crowded one another in the nest; they were even perching on its rim when I passed by.

I figured it was not long before they fledged their twiggy digs and entered into the big wide world.  Their parents, now “empty nesters”, soon will begin working on brood #2 by securing a safe place to build another nest, lay more eggs and new life will begin again.  But, the parents of brood #1 won’t be using the same nest, because when I passed by this morning, the homeowner had already taken it down.

I don’t think Mama and Papa robin just up and abandoned their brood, but neither of them were around when I passed by this house on my way to the Park yesterday.  I took the above picture of the empty nest, then craned my neck to see if any chicks still remained, but saw none.

I did see one fledgling on the driveway near the gate.



He (or she) seemed a little timid, and, after sitting on the ground a minute or so, he suddenly took flight, so I went on my merry way to the Park, happy to see one of my fledgling feathered friends and glad no cats were lurking about.

On the way home, it was a different story.

One of the fledglings, so easily identifiable by their short wings, stubby tail and spotted breast, flew down from a nearby tree and landed on the top of the chain-link fence, about five feet from me.  Clearly, he was not afraid, so did Mama not tell her chicks to be leery of hulking humans?

As my feathered friend gripped the top bar of the fence, he glanced my way, looked me straight in the eye and peeped.  He was a little unsteady and nearly lost his footing on the wide metal bar a few times,  since his stubby little tail was not providing much balance.  I watched him as he seemed to gain confidence on this perch, and soon he was cheeping and peeping at me and my heart kind of melted.

I had already put the camera away back at the Park and didn’t want to reach into the case and startle him, lest he fly away, so I talked to him softly a little bit.  He answered with a few more peeps.  I noticed that his wings really need to fill in, so I don’t think that he and his siblings will be going on any long flying trips this holiday weekend.

I finally reached for the camera and took a few pictures, and told him the backdrop of the tree trunk really showed off his new feathers.  I especially liked that little patch of feathery fuzz on the top of his head.


He reminded me a little of my canaries … every Summer when they’d molt, over the course of about two months, they’d replenish all their feathers.  But they didn’t all fall out all at once.  First came the long wing feathers, then the two tail feathers would be next.  The poor birds would go several weeks before the wings became full and the bob tail would grow into a new, regular-sized tail.  Their next molting stage involved the downy chest feathers and the pin feathers around the face.  During this stage, sometimes I’d walk by and feathers would be swirling around the cage.

I interacted with my feathered friend a little more, and he surprised me by hopping up onto the actual fence where he seemed to hang on for dear life, but looked me straight in the eye again.  Was he posing  just for me?  I’d like to think so – what do you think?


I took my photos and tucked away the camera, then, as if on cue, he decided he had posed long enough and took off back to the tree.  Did he spy his Mama in the tree waiting for him with fresh grubs or a juicy worm, or does he have to fend for himself now?

This morning as I rounded the bend and saw the house, I looked for my little feathered friend, and/or his siblings, but they were nowhere to be found, and, as I mentioned above, the nest has been removed.

I am still on baby robin patrol, because at the Park, the hatch has taken place and that mother robin is attending to her brood.  From my vantage point on the ground, though I cannot see inside the nest, I am tall enough to see those little chicks with their open mouths and I’ve watched her feeding her brood.

It seemed like I perfectly timed my arrival at both nests and I feel lucky to have experienced the joy of new life, which is really what Spring is all about.

Our Spring suddenly has a very Summer-like feel to it … we topped out at 82 degrees today and tomorrow our temps will climb to near 90 degrees, then a week-long heat wave will begin.  The heat and humidity will touch off a torrential rain storm Saturday and off-and-on rain throughout the long holiday weekend.  I will have to plan my walking around these weather events.

Today I got five miles walked … I had set a mini-goal for myself of 400 miles by the end of May, but I have a long way to go to reach that milestone, since I’ve only walked 323 miles so far in 2018 due to all the rain.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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25 Responses to Empty Nesters.

  1. So cute. I’m glad he posed for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….yes that’s for sure …….that little Robin was looking straight at you…………….he broke my heart too

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Us bird lovers are softies aren’t we Ann Marie? Though who could not love this little guy – bird lover or not. Does Digger molt in the Summer months? I know poor little Sugar and Buddy would lose their tail feathers and hop around and always scared of them losing their balance without their tail. We took Sugar’s swing out because he wouldn’t not use it while molting – the rest of the year Sugar would just sail through that swing, like a tiger sails through a ring of fire at the circus … he’d never touch it, back-and-forth an endless amount of times before quitting, and singing the entire time. Buddy never used a swing at all, so I took it out. shortly after I got him That little robin was so sweet and I hope to encounter him again. I wonder if I was his first human?


  3. Yes! The little robin posed for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Count Gustaf says:

    Hey Linda!
    Lovely read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    Sure it sad when they leave the nest (for us humans) but you got excellent pictures of the tiny ones. They will stay in the neighborhood. Robins is my favorite birds, but your robin i not lika ours, but they are cute as them!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – I am glad you liked those baby robin photos. This little guy was fearless and I think he posed for me in the last shot. 🙂 He was enjoying his freedom and feeling pretty happy about being “sprung” from the nest. I’m going to have more photos of the other nest at the Park, but those robins are not ready to fledge yet … they have hardly any feathers and their mother is feeding them when I walk by their nest.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ellie P. says:

    Eggs, fledge ‘n’ out. Repeat. Wotta life, huh? 😀 BTW you really should’ve been a vet or biologist or zoologist at a zoo or something. You’re so knowledgeable about animals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Sounds like a happy life to me Ellie – robins just livin’ the life of Riley. Thank you for saying that – it had been my dream to be a veterinarian and my grades were not good in math, chemistry and the sciences, so I abandoned that dream, but I should have done something else along that line instead, like my friend Pat. I had a “bus buddy” and we rode the bus from Lincoln Park to downtown Detroit for years. She went on a vacation and visited a refuge for cats … the really big ones. She quit her job, relocated to Arkansas and began a new life and never looked back. She is now retired. We e-mail occasionally. I wrote about her in this post, starting at the fourth paragraph down. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/10/10/walk-on-the-wild-side/

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Robert's eye says:

    So cutee!! And I think he posed for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think so too Robert! Usually a baby bird would bolt as soon as he saw a human, but this little guy was peeping and cheeping and very at home on his perch. I loved that tuft of feathers on his head.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am following another nest in the Park where I walk. They don’t have many feathers and peek out over the top of the nest. I love Spring and the parade of babies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert's eye says:

        I love spring too! There are lots and lots beautiful nature photos you can take. After seeing your posts, I’m now interested of taking pictures of little beautiful birds especially it’s summer now, and I can find lots of them in Lebanon.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Cute young robin pics! 🙂
    Bird molting has gone on for a very long time. I have a feather in Cretaceous amber.
    323 miles! That’s a lot of walking! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s amazing about the feather. I felt sorry for my little guys when they molted. They were both males and they would not sing for a good three months while molting and they were lethargic … all those downy feathers.

      That little robin was so cute Tom. He sat there the longest time peeping and cheeping at me, not in the least bit afraid. I didn’t see him today though.

      We are having a big-time heat wave and rain and storms off-and-on this weekend. The walking took a hit in May due to the bad weather – I am actually usually further along by the end of May.


  9. 82 to 90!! Way too early to get hot! That means lots of wasps & forest fires.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Look who I found … | WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

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