“CHIRP! . . . CHIRP!”
What kind of bird sounds like that? I wondered.
I was in waist-high grass a couple of yards from an electric fence when I heard the chirps. At the thought of it being a new bird, I wandered closer.
“CHIRP!” I heard again. It sounded like it was coming from a tree.
“CHIRP!” Now it sounded like it was on the ground.
“CHIRP! . . . CHIRP!” Suddenly, it sounded like it was right at my feet. I began fearing for my bare feet, wondering if it was some rodent like a squirrel, rabbit, shrew, or groundhog. I could just picture one of those rodents calling out in distress or defense and nipping my toes if I got too close.
The creature seemed to be right on the other side of the electric fence. But I really didn’t feel like rolling under it right then, not to mention I didn’t even know what kind of animal it was.
Minding my feet, I came right up to the fence. “CHIRP! . . . CHIRP!” It was so loud, I assumed it to be as near as a yard in front of me.
I stopped and listened, searching the ground for a brown or gray furry creature. Within a minute or two I saw it—a baby robin!
But wait, I thought. Better be sure this is what was chirping. Almost right away the robin opened its mouth, “CHIRP! . . . CHIRP!”
Now that I knew it was just a baby robin, I took a few pictures, then walked off. Perhaps now I could find the Carolina Wren I had set out to find.
I was almost halfway to the wren when I thought better of the quest. It would be too dark for a good picture by the time I pinpointed it. Besides that, there were more electric fences between me and the wren. I just wanted an easy walk, not one that required rolling under fences.
So, back I went. This time I went to where I could easily step over the fence to reach the baby robin. Might as well get some close-up pictures if it’s still there, I thought.
Nearing the spot, I stopped and listened. “CHIRP!”
I came fairly close to it. Then I kept coming closer, as the robin did not seem frightened. Soon my camera was inches away from it. I reached my hand toward it, and it opened its beak.
Ah, that would make a nice picture, I thought, trying to coax its mouth open again.
Suddenly I thought of a very good way to get its mouth open. I quickly found two worms and took pictures as it gulped them down. Surprisingly, the whole time I had known about this robin, there were no parent robins scolding anywhere near.
I hurried away and was soon overturning logs and branches, searching for worms.
“CHIRP!” the baby robin called hungrily.
After gathering a handful of worms, I fed them to the eager little robin. It perked up with the food, until it got drowsy from being full. Then I carried it to a branch where it could be off the ground for the night.
“CHIRP! . . . CHIRP!”