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December 09, 2016
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Empty nest syndrome

The nest no longer empty, Mr. Unidentified Species guards it against predators, including columnist Fox.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

I’m not sure they were thinking clearly, since the nest is three feet from my front door, and the pooch. As the days progressed, Mama took up residence, and the sit-in began. Each time we left the house, Papa buzzed us, causing me to duck and cover and encouraging Dharma to bark her adorable head off, racing around with glee. “Tastes just like chicken,” she cooed, when I admonished her for terrorizing the newlyweds. “Leave me alone,” she woofed, “I’m a dog.” I marveled at the precision of the nest and how camouflaged it really is, since attempting to photograph the lovebirds, eggs and the nest itself was a challenge. So too, was my fervent wish to have my eyeballs remain intact, and as the big day approached, Pop became more determined to peck them out whenever I dared to sneak a peek. On my way to see “Mary Poppins” in Forestburgh (, I checked the progress while Dad was out foraging and noticed Mom was sitting higher in the nest, unmoving. Sensing that hatchlings were on the way, I managed to get a pic before being threatened, and patted the girl for remaining motionless herself, while I captured the moment for posterity. The next day, we came home from seeing Lionel Richie and Cee Lo Green ( and heard cheeping greet us at the door. It took days of silence and precarious balance to see the babies, much less snap a photo while holding my breath, camera poised, as they lifted their little beaks for breakfast. I held a finger to my lips, lest the pup scare them away, as the proud parents did their best to freak me out. The kids are growing in leaps and bounds and all too soon will take flight. While I accept the natural progression, I can’t help but feel a slight sense of loss, and wax nostalgic about my own baby and the day she flew the coop. Bye bye, Birdie.

[Editor’s Note: For more on “Mary Poppins” at the Forestburgh Playhouse, go to Jonathon Fox’s review, which is posted online at

To view photos of Lionel Richie and Cee Lo Green at Bethel Woods, visit]