Being without a birdhouse does not mean we don't have any bird action though.
We found 3 little Blue Jay babies scurrying around on the ground the other day. One was injured by our dog before we knew what was happening. The poor little guy didn't make it so the kids wanted to bury him. Colyer was very curious about the little body and was the only one of the kids willing to pick him up. He was so gentle and looked him over and tucked him into a little cozy position. Very tender and respectful. Sully dug a little hole and collected some grass to line the bottom.
We did some research and contacted the Wildlife Rescue Center. They taught us a lot. We were advised to leave the last little baby where we found him because the parents are nearby and seem to be tending to him. (We haven't seen the third baby recently.) The person I spoke with also said that Blue Jays and similar breeds have so many diverse skills to learn that humans can't teach them. She thinks the last little guy will probably have the best chance of survival here in our yard with his folks.
Turns out also, that wild birds can die of stress induced by unnecessary handling and gawking. I found this out only AFTER I had gently caught him thinking he was going to need to go to the center. Now I am terrified that he is going to die of stress caused by his cardboard box experience and the one quick picture I took on the way out to release him. Man! He is cute isn't he?
The bittersweet part is that because his siblings aren't around anymore and he is the last baby standing, the nice gal at the center thinks he actually has a very good fighting chance. I hope that is true and that I can report back someday that he fluttered away or that we have spotted him up in a tree, safe and sound.
For now we will keep curious kids, cameras and dogs away, and our fingers crossed...