Thursday, July 24, 2008

Empty nest

The mama bird sat on the nest on the drain pipe next to our garage for so long that we thought her eggs had failed to hatch and she'd lost her mind — weeks and weeks and weeks.

Then about a week and a half ago or so, we started seeing little heads in the nest.

One day, with alarm, we noticed mama wasn't around and the little heads didn't appear to be moving anymore. Wearing work gloves, I reached up and nudged the bill of one little bird, and nothing seemed to happen. Oh no! Did they die?

I sadly and carefully dislodged the nest and took it down — only to discover four miraculous little lives huddled together, not moving but definitely breathing in more than their share of oxygen. Fortunately, I had worked carefully enough that the nest fit back in its place perfectly and life went on. I was afraid I had ruined everything, but the mama bird continued to come and go and hover.

Wednesday, shortly after this photo was taken, the four little birds took turns hopping out of the nest, fluttering their wings as they perched on the pipe, and hopping back in — checking out the goods and practicing, clearly.

This morning, the nest is empty. I'll miss them, but mission accomplished: They're off to do what young birds do. Maybe one of them will be back next year — this is at least the third year in a row that we've had a nest next to the garage.



Blogger Cowboy the Cat said...

the nest looks like swallows, but the babies look like sparrows... do you know which it is?

1:53 AM  
Anonymous lewlew said...

Isn't there something so refreshing and rejuvenating about watching new life unfold in nature? Thank you for sharing your photo and your story.

1:28 PM  

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