The robins . . .

My friend Judybug posted this today and it is so terribly sad. I am sharing with her permission.

Between our driveway and the church parking lot we have a wonderful grove of trees, (13 trees to be exact) that is a “Robin sanctuary.” I have loved hearing their melodies and seeing the young ones learning to fly these last few weeks in Marion.

2 nights ago we had a torrential rain storm. The lightning seemed to be right on top of us and lasted for a few hours. My decorative plates which I had hung on my bedroom walls shook with each close strike.

The storms were over by morning. When I took the dog out for his walk there were small limbs and leaf debris all over the yard. Some leaves did not even look familiar and I wondered how far they had blown. Then I found 3 dead robins in the middle of our driveway. It was so sad. They weren’t babies, but full grown birds. I figured that they must have fallen out of their nest in the tree above us during the storm. And then I saw another dead bird a few feet away. I stopped in my tracks. I had been talking out loud to the dog telling him how sad it was that the little Robin family had died, but when I saw the 4th bird, I actually gasped.

You know how sometimes you don’t know what you are looking at until your eyes adjust to the whole picture? As I lifted my eyes to scan the area around our driveway and under the trees, I started seeing the shapes of birds scattered all over the ground. I had an immediate pit in my stomach, and felt like I was in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. I started walking slowly down the driveway, realizing that my first time down the drive with the dog I hadn’t even noticed the sea of dead birds. I had a lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes.

Dozens of birds. Some clustered. Some by themselves. It was then that I realized how silent the morning was. Not one chirp. Not one flutter of birds in the branches. Just dead quiet.

I knew that we would need to pick up all of these poor birds before the heat of the day. My husband took a 5 gallon bucket out and filled it to the rim. He estimated that it weighed about 15 pounds by the time he finished and that he had picked up at LEAST 3-4 dozen birds. Before I headed over to church for VBS I found a live Robin behind our house with a broken wing, but he hopped away too quickly for me to catch. I found 7 more dead birds when I returned home.

Since we didn’t see any charred lightening marks on any of the trees, we wonder if lighting had swept through the line of trees in the air. Our Robins’ little bodies had obviously suffered trauma.

I am so terribly sad. At the moment I have no profound words of wisdom or uplifting conclusion. Just sadness.


I was sad in the Spring when I discovered that one of the robins in my backyard didn’t hatch. The death of so many birds is devastating and terribly sad. – robinstl
robins egg
Photo by Robin.STL. This egg didn’t hatch (See: Family Fun)

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