I first ran into this little robin chick early in the week as I walked across the property toward my in-laws' house. I'm surprised I saw it at all as it sat motionless just inside the edge of the grass. I know better than to mess with mother nature, but I'll admit that my first reaction was to look up into a nearby tree for a nest. My hope was that one was easily accessible so I could return the little guy (or gal?) to a safer environment. I'm sure no one would argue that its chance of survival are far less on the ground as they would be in its nest, especially when there are no less than 5 cats roaming around - all accomplished bird hunters.
I slowly crouched and moved closer to see if it might be injured and it finally let me know I was close enough by giving out several loud chirps and hopping away. With that "alarm" signal sent out I was suddenly bombarded by two adult robins trying to draw my attention away from the little bird. I grinned and complied with their request and felt better knowing that the little bird's parents were at least close by and looking out for it. But, as I walked away I couldn't help thinking that its chance of making it through the night were pretty slim.
Fast-forward a couple days and I happened to be walking by the same area where I'd originally noticed the bird. Much to my astonishment I once again saw it sitting motionless in the grass. It'd only been a couple days, but already I noticed that the bird had changed a bit and seemed to be doing pretty good. I wasn't tied up with anything important, so I headed back to the house to grab my camera and figured I'd better hurry since it was getting close to sun down.
When I returned, the bird was gone - at least it appeared that way. I knew it couldn't fly, so I began slowly scouring the grass and nearby bushes without luck. Just about the time I was going to give up I heard a small chirp and looked in its direction. There it was, perched upon the rusty wheel of an old farmer's push cart. I smiled and thought about the struggle this little bird was facing for survival. So far, it was beating the odds! I dropped to my stomach and crawled as close as I felt comfortable without scaring it from its "safety" perch. After snapping a few pictures, I thanked it for its cooperation and slowly backed away and left.
It's now been several days and I haven't seen the little bird again. My hope is that it made it to a safer area and is doing fine, but reality makes me think this story has an unhappy ending.