The Natural Life of My Backyard Sanctuary and Baby Birdies

I wrote one other blog on the happenings of my large backyard in Houston, Texas, and of course the infamous one about the Possum (all linked) that got me in hot water over the years from angry possum lovers who found my piece on the Internet. (The hate mail that even continues to this day, sigh.)

At any rate, I am like that scene from Snow White where all the beautiful little animals converge around her. Most of the critters in our animal sanctuary seem unafraid of me, as it should be – their natural instincts help them decide who to fear.

I have a lot going on in my own backyard- perhaps due to the proximity of the water source nearby (3 blocks to the bayou) or due to the beautiful trees of various types and friendly bushes along with some tropical plants. The other day, I posted a photo on Facebook of a big tortoise walking through my grass, and the day earlier, my husband had found a tiny frog.

Snow white

We get hummingbirds and butterflies due to our firecracker bushes. They are drawn to the red tips.

We still get possums occasionally, but I won’t say another word about those, as I believe my life might be in danger to say anything further.

I am fascinated by and just love the variety of birds that frequent our trees and build nests. We get bluebirds, cardinals, robins, egrets, and the occasional hawk and even vultures have circled our yard. Of course I am not so happy about the various bird droppings on furniture, around the pool, etc, but I am a bird and animal lover in general, so I can deal with that.

By the way, if you haven’t read my fascinating blog on bird behavior that got me curious one year, check it out here.

So I was taking a swim in my pool the other day, and a Robin Red Breast appeared close to me perched on top of my chaise lounge. I did not have my camera to snap a photo but she looked just like this.


She was scouting out the yard, looking around a 360 degree setting from her perch. I knew we had a low nest in one of our trees near the pool so I figured this was the mama bird, protecting her nest/eggs. Little did I know she already had hatched her eggs because not 20 minutes later, these adorable little fledgling birdies started coming down from the nest and hopping around the area near the tree with their nest. There were four of them.


It is amazing that Mrs. Robin Redbreast (Robin for short) found it safe for them to come around with me splashing around in my pool right near them but I guess I look safe. (Robin: “Oh, it’s just Snow White, the owner. It’s safe.”)

The fledglings half-flapped their tiny wings, and pecked at the dirt, looking for food. It was one of the cutest scenes I have witnessed in recent memory, and I stopped swimming and just doggie paddled while watching them. They sure had the hopping down as some of them took mighty huge hops onto bushes.

I was cursing myself for not having my camera at the ready for this adorable scene in the natural world of my backyard. So you’ll have to imagine it as I describe it, and I hope these stock photos help.

A few days later and those hopping birds were still kind of tiny, but they used their wings to fly to close by trees, from tree to tree. There was still a bunch of chattering from the nest or nests in the trees near my pool so I have an idea there is more than one nest. In fact, another Robin Redbreast was perched on my fence today, and I thought it was the one from the cute little bird group, but no, she flew up to a nest high on our gutters.

a robin

So it looks like our yard is a haven to Robins. Note to both Robin moms: Be careful when you give those little ones wings; they may fly off to DALLAS! (I know from personal experience!)

Another note: When we lived in another home, there was a nest near our garage eye level almost. I kept watching and one day, I heard cheeping so I got close and saw a nest filled with baby birds with their mouths open. I made the awful mistake of getting too close. That mama bird squawked at me and then abandoned her nest, and I had to race those baby birds to an animal rescue the next day after keeping vigil waiting for her to come back. NEVER AGAIN!

Back to the subject at hand: I can relate to all these nesting birds, as I am still enjoying nesting in my new home. It’s a great feeling to be back in this wonderful backyard that is suburban but so convenient to all the good stuff in the city of Houston. It feels so good to be back among my animal friends.



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