Hungry Chicks

The long weekend was approaching and no definite plans were made. As it was nearing I grew more restless an then I stopped thinking and decided to drive to Lyman Run State Park at Galeton, PA. It was a 5 hours drive and I started at around 16:00. All I wanted to do was to reach their as early as possible. I reached the campsite by 21:00 and fortunately found a vacant campsite.

After setting up my tent I set out to explore. I had never been here before, but what motivated me to drive to this place was a photograph of milky-way aligned with the water dam. Since it was a full moon day I was aware about my bleak chances to click stars. Nevertheless, it was still a great opportunity for  me to explore the nature in a full-moon night. After finding the directions to the dam from a ranger, I reached only to find myself in total darkness. The moon was not out yet. I parked my car and walked towards the information board. There was an unusual silence in the place, the  thought of encountering a bear was exciting but also scary. I switched on the flash light to help me read the bulletin, and all of a sudden to my bewilderment, came out a bird from inside the roof as if to scare me. It was clearly not comfortable with my presence as it repeatedly fluttered circling me as though I was not startled enough. A thrilling start to my adventure, I thought. As the moon rose from behind the hills, the night did not seem as eerie as the starting episode.

Fast forwarding to the next day,  my curiosity took me to the same spot where the bird startled me in the night. To my surprise, it was a Robin with her adorable nestlings. I plainly stood at that very spot for more than 15 minutes observing them. It was very difficult to take my eyes off, but I finally made an effort to run and get my camera and tripod.

I had been witnessing an interminable process of mommy robin hunting food and feeding her chicks constantly without a break. A very excited me placed the tripod 6 feet away from the baby robins. Something abnormal happened, mommy robin stopped moving around to get food. I then realized that mommy was clearly not comfortable leaving the babies alone in the presence of a human being. It seemed to me that it was nature’s way of protesting. I then pulled out my zoom lens and placed the tripod 20 feet away from the nest. Immediately, mommy robin continued hunting food from the lake nearby.

It was a pleasure to watch the little ones waiting for their mamma to arrive and instantly open their beaks. They were so young that at times the insects and worms that were fed into their beak would escape. They would open up their beaks even if momma robin passed by them 50 feet away . I stood there watching and enjoying the precious view for about 2 hours. I hope you enjoy the moments that were captured.

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© 2019

By Srikanth Iyer & Anders Norén