Or rather, what killed Lucinda? The writers ended this season of All My Flycatchers on a dark note indeed, leaving a mystery that will never be explained.
When I went to let the dogs out (via the back door) this morning, I glanced up at her nest from inside the house, but did not see her on it. Looked down, and there she lay dead by the front door.
The late-season eggs never hatched.
Stress? Heat? Disease? We'll never know. Nor will we know why the first nest on the Official Flycatcher Nesting Ledge was abandoned in favor of one built two weeks later on the porch light — if it was the same pair of birds.
M. heard the male bird's call near the house. I suppose he will hang around until the time is right to migrate south.
I know that nature cares for species, not individuals, and that a songbird who lives to three years is an old-timer. Of the rescued birds that we have taken to the Raptor Center, for example, close to half did not survive.
But we were personally involved in this nest — we changed our routines to accommodate it — and the end of the season took us by surprise.