Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Miracle on Our Front Porch

A day after we moved into our new house, we discovered a bird's nest built up under the roof over our front porch. It seemed late in the season, but I had seen a bird sitting in it, so climbed up (perched precariously on the very TOP of our ladder),to see if there was anything in it. With my camera held over my head, I shot a couple pictures, and lo and behold! There were five, perfect little eggs inside. Well, it looked like we were going to be dealing with bird poop on our porch for a while longer, but now I didn't mind so much. =)

The pretty mom and dad
(Philip determined that they are Barn Swallows)

Aren't they beautiful?  
(July 10)

We came home about a week later and I noticed tiny egg shells on the front porch!   Yay!  The babies had started to hatch!!

Moriah holding some recently vacated shells
(July 17)

I waited until the day after we noticed the shells, to make sure everyone had hatched...

There they are!   The tiniest, ugliest newborns you'll ever see! =)
(July 17)

This is where it started to get so fascinating!   They started growing and changing sooo fast I could hardly keep up!

Fuzzy heads poking over  their eyes weren't even open yet)

I was thrilled to be able to count Five heads in this one, so we knew that all the eggs had hatched successfully!. 
(These two pictures were taken July 21st, just FOUR days after the pink, naked one!)   Unbelievable!

Two snoozing, one bored, and two squawking =)
(July 24)

Soo cute, all snoozing
(July 25)

Later that day - calling for Mama
(July 25)

Once they were big enough to stand up and start leaning out over the edge a little, I got Very nervous!   I was Sure one of them was going to plummet to their death on the concrete below!    The kids and I would pray every day that they would be safe .  (Keenan thought we should put a mattress under them). =)

It's getting a little crowded in there =)

...there's number five
(July 30)

Okay, I think this might be the most dramatic change right here.   This next picture was taken only TWO days after the ones above:

What!?   They look so grown up here!   Their feathers have smoothed out beautifully, their colors have really come out and they just look so mature! =)
(Aug 1)

All five, barely fitting anymore!
(Aug 2)

I didn't know it then, but the picture above would be the last one I'd get of all five babies together.

On August 3rd, I noticed only four birds in the nest (and this worried me), so I climbed up (with Mark holding the ladder), to see if the other one was hidden in there somewhere, or if something had happened to him/her.   As I started to climb the ladder, they seemed very agitated, and leaned out soo far, and... my heart nearly stopped as they pushed off the edge (oh no!   Sweet babies, no!   You're going to fall to your deaths!)... but, with my heart in my throat, I watched in disbelief as they all swooped down, and out from under the roof and they all FLEW gracefully out, across the street and over the pond... like they'd done it a hundred times!

I was torn between amazement and sadness, that somehow I had messed with nature and pushed them out of the nest too soon!   (However, I then decided that they had probably been sneaking out for flying lessons before this and I'd never noticed).   Oh, wow!   My "babies" were all grown up!

For a while after that, no one was seen in the nest.   This made me very sad.   Then, a few days later, I saw that a bunch of them (it looked like the babies, their parents And maybe some relatives) had come back and were perched on the eves, on the front of our house.  Yay, they hadn't totally left yet!   

Then, on August 11th, I looked out and saw that three of them were sitting BACK IN THE NEST!  Wow!    The kids and I were delighted!

On August 12th, I cautiously went to the window to see if I could snap a picture of them through the glass (one more for my collection).  Since they didn't seem bothered by me being there, I decided to push my luck and gently pushed open the door, so I could shoot up at them without glass in the way.  They stayed there!

I was SO happy to get this picture of three of them, almost all grown up, back at the nest.. maybe for the last time.

After that, I did see two birds up there one night, and then a couple nights later, just this one guy...

August 16th

So long, little family!  It was a joy and an honor to see you grow up! =)


Mom W. said...

Wow, that was an educational experience for everyone!! Good pictures Joia!!!

Mark and Rebekah said...

I love these pictures! What a neat thing for your kids to witness. I was thinking though that you'd traded in birds for frogs, and now you'll have to take just as good care of the tadpoles in the backyard :)

The Woodfords said...

Oh, Joia, that's so neat! I love that you were able to capture them all growing up! Thanks for sharing, it was beautiful!

Love you,

Mom E said...

Just as I was contemplating asking you about the progress of the birds, I saw your post. I'm just now able to comment though. This is especially exciting since I'd been there and seen these cuties in person. I can't believe how big they had grown! Thanks for posting!! Will you leave the nest there or take it down?
Love, Mom