I then remembered that B.Rube had told me about some baby robins in the barn that I should get some pictures of, so we headed there. Sure enough, one of the nests that we've been watching for weeks was chock full of babies, spilling out the top. I stood on a milk crate to give myself an extra foot and started to snap some pictures.There they are. But, that's too far away. I'll get in a bit closer. The mom and dad robins are outside the barn in an absolute panic watching me move in on their babies.
Cute. But, I can get closer than that. They don't seem to be too bothered by me.
Closer yet. They're so cute. Look at those big bulging eyes. (Don't get too attached. They are about to meet a tragic end.)
Suddenly, the babies jump and flap and fall and flutter. In that instant, all I hear are birds chirping, wings flapping and little bird bodies hitting walls and roof and wiring. I jump off the milk crate and duck out of the barn. The babies have jumped from the nest. The adult robins are freaking out! Flying and shrieking. I notice two of the babies are now on the ground outside the barn. Still trying to flap and fly. Instead, kinda hopping. One of them hops over and ends up in a bit of a puddle. Fuck. I debate picking it up and putting it back in the nest. Damn. Damn. Damn. I've totally interfered where I shouldn't have. And I've created a horrible situation.
I cringe. and turn around to shuffle T.Rube out of the barnyard. That's when I see the big raven with the baby in its mouth. He drops to the ground and begins to tear into it. If I thought that the adult robins were upset before, nothing had prepared me for the panic and grief I was seeing now. My heart just dropped.
I have no idea what the full extent of damage is. I have not been brave enough to face what I have done by returning to the barn; too scared to realize that the nest is completely empty; that my innocent attempt to photograph the cute babies lead to the death of all of them. I learned a valuable lesson tonight.