Brandon Schools bus garage as operation "Bus #8 is Not Your Bus!" began.
all photos by Jonathan Schechter
The early morning phone call did not make a whole lot of sense to me, at least at first. "We need to get robins off the school bus before they get killed on the bus route" Finally, I comprehended what driver Tammy was telling me. And then she pleaded to all my various hats. "You've got to help us. You are a paramedic. You are a firefighter. You are a naturalist. You love nature. You write about nature."
And then she told me the rest of the story:
A robin had built a nest several weeks ago under the back of a school bus on the frame next to the back up buzzer. And Driver Fay was worried that the baby birds would fall off as the bus bumped along dirt roads along her Ortonville/ Brandon Township bus route.
She covers about 50 miles a day. Sometimes more.
With the school kids. And with the robins.
Minus mom robin.
I pushed her a bit, "Where is the mom robin?" Turns out, Ma robin flys off in a huff when the bus rolls out and returns in flurry of protest when the bus backs in.
Maybe she wondered if the babys were getting good grades.
Fay made a good point. The fledglings were near the flight stage and the nest was cramped. Robins don't have hands to hang on tight, and so I headed off on the rescue, so no bird would get left behind on a back road in Brandon. The nest was carefully relocated to a tree near the back of the bus. Ma bird screamed and protested and then--headed for the nest.
I wonder if the school bus robins will miss their daily ride in the country?
Home sweet home under a Brandon school bus! A school bus that goes 50 miles a day.
Brandon school bus drivers Fay and Tammy pose underneath the newly relocated nest.
Ma Robin is just out of the frame.