We were quite happy watching a female blackbird building her nest on top of a fancy brick pillar under our patio earlier this year. We were a little concerned about if and when the Sun came out as, in another year, a previous occupant had been observed sitting on her brood, beak open, panting to cool down. When this year’s pair began arriving with small worms we realised that their eggs had hatched and enjoyed their antics from the dining room window – for a while! After a week or so, it had got to the point when we could just see tiny chicks’ heads reaching up to beg for bigger worms when things went wrong.
The male blackbird clambered his way through the hydrangea, almost to the nest, looking confused, not knowing what to do next. The poor chicks were reaching up at the slightest sound, even to the click of the back door opening, hungry and very stressed. But there was no sign of their mother. What to do we thought? Where could she be? Meanwhile the male made no effort to feed the chicks but flew at any other blackbirds in the garden to fight them off, to scare them away from his territory. Then we found a few feathers in one corner of the patio; no body but it looked very much as though one of the several unwelcome cats had “disposed” of this wonderful, feathered wildlife parent. What to do, indeed? The chicks were now even responding to a hand waving near to them – cheeping hungrily of course! If one of the 3 grey squirrels visited then the chicks may wind up being lunch for them!
My wife went online and tracked down the marvellous Lower Moss Wood Wildlife Hospital, in Knutsford, who agreed to take them on and, hopefully, raise them to adults. So, very carefully, we covered the nest with some soft dark material to calm them down, and then just as carefully transferred the nest plus 3 chicks to a shoe box. When we eventually found Lower Moss Wood Hospital two very kind and sympathetic ladies took charge of the nest. No doubt, as the baby birds are so young, one or other of these caring ladies would be losing some time late at night feeding them. It is a fantastic place, in a great natural setting, where they care for wild creatures of all kinds, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs etc, that may be injured or in need. I believe Sir Bobby Charlton is a patron of the charity.
Here is a link to the site and a short video of “our blackbird babies”: LMWWH