Here’s a photo of one of the newest members of our non-Homo sapiens extended family: a big-mouthed robin chick expectantly waiting for Mom, Dad, or anyone else able to regurgitate robin food and poke it down his/her throat. My digital camera in hand, Laurel snuck up to the nest that is, um, nestled about five feet up an evergreen tree next to our house.
In doing so she broke the Do Don’t Disturb The Robins! rule that was so seriously enforced by she herself all last weekend, during both a Friday night potluck and the whole rest of the time our guests from Seattle, Ron and Rita, were staying with us.
Every time I forgot about The Rule and tried to walk off our deck onto the lawn by going past the robin nest, Laurel wasn’t shy about letting me know about my transgression. Or Ron either, for that matter. So at least Laurel was even-handed in nagging both of the men in the house last weekend (since women are perfect when it comes to matters of robin courtesy, and most everything else, Rita naturally never needed to be nagged).
But She who makes the Rule can apparently break the Rule. Of course, I will admit that before the chicks hatched, keeping Mother Robin in the nest was more crucial than it is now. In less than a week the chick’s head fuzz has grown quite a bit and the length of those necks stretching up to meet Mom’s beak is impressive. He or she with the longest neck seems to get the most regurgitated food.
We’re worried about a runt who seems to get short shrift when it comes to whatever is coming out of Mother Robin’s throat. But that’s natural selection in action. In the nest the strong get stronger while the weak get weaker. Actually, that pretty much sums up Bush’s economic policies also. It’s too bad that several million years of evolution haven’t led conservatives to a more enlightened view of ethics than you’ll find in a robin’s nest.