We have several holly trees around our house. They are BIG, TALL trees that need trimmed. Right beside our front door is a haven for bird nests. In the past it has been Mourning Dove's nests. (my favorite bird) We learned over the years that Mourning Doves are a very trusting friendly bird (in our experience) and when the babies had flown from the nest they would come right up to you within a couple feet. I guess they were used to us watching them from a distance. The last Mourning Dove family we had though the baby bird died and after a few days (with Z insisting) we buried the baby. We think it was the same bird pair as after the baby died there the Dove pair did not return to that spot.
We were pleasantly surprised this spring to discover a pair of Robines nesting in that same tree. Over the last few weeks we have watched her make the nest, sit on it, and the three baby Robine's grow. Today Z ran in though yelling "there is a snake in the tree". We observe the birds throughout the day from our front steps and we also have a view from a window right into the nest. When she said that I figured there was a snake on the ground. No, there was a snake IN THE NEST. (a really big black snake about 4 foot) She was in tears and I was in tears. At first I told her to run and get a big stick as I could see a wee baby bird head sticking out from the coiled snake. By the time she got back though I knew that wasn't the right thing. For one thing the snake wasn't "bad" he was getting dinner...the whole cycle of the food chain came to my mind and we talked about it. I sure hope it is also getting some of the pesky Voles we have in our yard too! Also...with A~mans impulse control issues I could not let him see me messing with a snake. He would then think it was OK to mess with a snake. It was all a part of nature but still it made me sick to my stomache and so sad that the kids SAW it happening.
During all this the mama and daddy Robine kept flying in that tree. It was pitiful. For hours that mama kept bringing food to that nest. Such an innate thing I told Z for a mama and daddy (even if it was "just" a bird) to take care of its family.