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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Four Hatchlings in the Nest by My Door

Last time I wrote, I was worried that the four robin eggs in the nest by my door would never hatch.

In the course of less than two days, all four baby robins have hatched out. The eggs are gone, completely replaced by hatchlings. But it is still too early to know how many will survive to fly away.

I was lucky to be able to see the very last one emerge from its egg shell.

This was a slow process that started early yesterday morning and culminated just around noon. At first it was just a tiny hole, then later we could see the beak, and quite a while later, the egg shell was almost divided in two, with the creature inside visibly moving.

And then, it suddenly happened so fast!

Still looking a lot like an unformed human fetus, it came out all at once.

And now there are four baby robins in the nest by my door.

But oddly enough, in the nest by the fence, the third egg never hatched. Here is what the nestlings look like by comparison.

The robin mother who laid her eggs first and whose eggs began to hatch first is not the one who will necessarily bring up the largest number of young.

But whether hatched or unhatched, these little ones have no chance of survival without the parents' help. They don't become individuals until they leave the nest. And this, for a lot of people is a problematic concept.

What does Bow think about the baby robins? He said to me, when pressed: טוב שצפור אמא. "It's good that the bird is a mother." His focus was entirely on the mother robin and her right to reproduce. He did not care about the babies at all.

How do we recognize a parent robin? It's that bird that comes at you when you are looking at the babies in the nest. They can get very upset with you if they think you are meddling with their young. Nature gives them a fierce protective instinct, because if the mother bird did not care, who would? In nature, we so seldom see bad mothers, because the offspring of bad mothers do not survive. I favor a non-interventionist policy that keeps it that way. So I film what I see, but I don't interfere. Laissez faire! That's my motto.


For those of my readers in Texas County Missouri, there is a meeting tonight, May 4th at Checo's Mexican restaurant in Licking with a representative of the Austin Petersen campaign. Dinner at 6:30pm. Speaker at 7:30pm. Pay for own meal. 


  1. I try not to interfere for the most part, but I have noticed there is more free style parenting on the rise. If the kids can handle themselves and not get injured in the process, that is fine. However, last summer we were shopping at the local open air mall, and there were tons of kids just playing in this empty fountains with lots of concrete figures in it. That was an accident waiting to happen, but I did not say anything because it is sort of on the parents to decide if they feel okay with their kids running around sharp concrete edges like that and perhaps breaking an arm. Growing up some people thought it was a rite of passage to break their leg and wear a caste to school. However, a couple of time I have intervened when I spotted a kid climbing up and over railing and dangling one story above, where they could easily fall. Most of the time the parents were on their cell phones, and just said non-chalantly, oh honey stop doing that. One time a mother got mad at me, and acting like I was interfering with her child's right to have fun. I mostly do not care how kids act in public, but I know some people who do not like the permissive culture where kids are given more freedom to run around. Some people I know said they will not go to buffets because kids can run around and touch the food. It is true, I have seen unsupervised groups of four and five year old children making pyramids out of strawberries, and pulling down on the soft serve machine to watch it spiral down to the floor. These types of behaviors were a bit more rare when I was a kid. No it seems that here in California at least it is far more common for kids to do these things.So for the most part I mind my own business, but this is the reason why some millennials are having problems in school and the work place. Their parents never told them no, and all of a sudden they have a melt down when they cannot do whatever they want in a public setting. It is funny how with going towards more regulation of things some parents have not even taught their kids about the concept of how to treat others with courtesy. Interestingly, I think people were more courtesy of others when we lived in a time with less regulation.

    1. I have seen some of this, too. Before parents became afraid to discipline their kids in public, there was a lot less of that going on.

    2. Some parents I have seen still enforce rules verbally. However, I have noticed there are parents who seem in love with their phones, and could not be bothered if a kid is running amuk. I just find it interesting how we create more laws, and some parents are more and more lax. Some parents have never used spanking as discipline, and there children knew how to behave. To me it was all about the line in the sand. I am not saying deprive a child of all decision making, but I literally have witnessed parents asking their kids what they wanted to do next. Shopping is a fun experience, especially in affluent areas. The parent will ask their kids what type of cookies they want to get, then ask the kid if they should go to a yogurt place, or an ice cream place, and this is all after talking about what they liked about the restaurant they just went to. Some of the misbehaving I think happens among the affluent permissive types, which you are right they might be afraid to discipline their kids in public. But this does not have to include spanking. They could just tell their kids no. I literally watched some kids playing with the conveyor belt on an unoccupied checkout stand. If someone had done that when I was kid, they would have got pulled out of the store by a parent. So perhaps some of it is fear of discipline. I also think it is the era of wanting to regulate everyone else, but not taking stock of yourself.

  2. I have seen parents that have lost control over their children. A parent can tell a child "no" verbally, but if the toddler disregards that, opens a chocolate bar in the store that has not been paid for, and then runs out the exit door, what can prevent that from happening if not an awareness of dire immediate consequences on the spot? I have seen this happen. And it was because beyond saying "no", the parent had nothing to fall back on. The child was faster and had to be chased down the street. You need to have consequences if "no" is disobeyed. A child who knows there will be no immediate consequences seizes the opportunity. All the verbal remonstrating in the world cannot undo an accomplished fact.