Turns out some birds built a nest in the staghorn fern's box this Spring. Now, for those of you who don't have a staghorn fern, it's kind of a big funky looking fern that you may have seen growing hanging on a wall somewhere - typically, you build a narrow/shallow wooden box, hang that on the wall, and the fern grows out of some dirt in the box.
However, over time, the wood of the box rots. Add a birds' nest, making the whole shebang even heavier, and you've got a recipe for disaster. As far as we can tell, the box got to be every so slightly too heavy, which meant the bottom fell out of the box. The fern itself landed more or less OK - one of the big leaves broke off - but the nest hit the tile covered concrete of the front porch, throwing the three baby birds out of the box. Two of them are lying on the porch, a mess of exposed internal organs. I imagine some critter will eat them up before the day's out. However, the third bird actually turned out to be still alive - at least, I saw it breathe a couple of times. All of them are obviously incredibly young - they're about as big as a Brazil nut, with only a very slight smattering of hair.