They’re actually on the deck because we took the hammock down to mow and haven’t put it back up, but I mentioned the hammock in my previous post about robins, so it seemed appropriate. Usually the newly fledged robins hang out in my hammock the first day they leave the nest, attended by anxious parents who chirp encouragement from nearby planting beds where juicy worms abound.
I can see why the fledglings find the hammock attractive. It resembles a roomy nest, with space enough for everyone to spread their wings. It lets them get out of the nest of their hatching, like their folks have been after them to do, without having to be so high off the ground. Most of all, it allows them to temporarily ignore their parents’ frantic importuning and get their bearings, a luxury that landing on the dangerous ground does not afford. They preen and fluff their feathers; sometimes they just hunker down for a bit, taking in how really huge the world is.
Eventually they gather sufficient wits and nerve to launch themselves from the hammock and join their frazzled parents for the inevitable foraging lesson. They don’t go back to the hammock; I never see adolescent or adult robins in it, only comical, barely fledged babies who look surprised and somehow pleased with themselves to have fallen so fortuitously into this unexpected safety net.