Empty nesters? What does this phrase mean? People use it to describe older human adults whose children have grown and are living independently somewhere else. Like "Oh, they're empty nesters."
Well, the ultimate reference point might be nesting birds whose hatchlings have matured and flown off on their own. Ducks, for example, whose ducklings have matured and swum off downriver on their down.
Here's another example from bird life:
For the previous couple of springs, Lucille and I've watched a pair of Crown Sparrows tending a nest in our hedge.
But this spring, 2021, we've watched a pair of Crown Sparrows busily nest-building and chick-tending in a pot of thick bamboo directly in sight from the living room. Mom and Dad would fly away from the nest quickly vs. approaching the nest ever so cautiously with food bits. Now this hubbub has suddenly ceased. Today we photographed the nest, empty now.
Except for two unhatched blue eggs. I removed them. (Sad.) 😔😔
We assume that other eggs hatched, though we have no evidence of that, and that the chicks flew off with mom and dad And we hope optimistically to see them all again, next spring. (Happy.) 😉😉
Some things are absolutely intriguing: that birds know when to mate, how to choose a location for a nest and to prepare it, what to feed the chicks and where to get the food, then how to migrate off for other places in the south, only to return next year.