Up until yesterday afternoon, we had the privelege of watching two baby birds being fed. Talk about a bird’s eye view (and yes, pun intended). These small birds were right outside our front window nesting in the hanging flower basket my son gave me for Mother’s Day.
The only problem was we weren’t aware the birds had hatched until July 6th. Prior to that we saw the parents swooping in and out. It was hard to tell whether they were still prepping the nest, laying on the eggs or feeding the babies. But then Jim had to water the wilting flowers and gently took the basket down. Inside were two babies and outside were two scolding parents. Jim watered the flowers carefully before restoring the basket to its proper place. The flowers were happy, I think the babies were content, and we know the parents definitely were relieved.
However, Jim underestimated the age of the babies, believing they had been newly hatched. When I was leaving for the dentist last Tuesday, I was upset to find one of the babies on our front walkway. He was alive, just scared and also looking older than a week. Since I was running late, and it would have taken me awhile to set up a ladder and Google® what to do, I uneasily continued on to the appointment.
When I returned home two hours later, the bird was still there, unharmed, but looking out of its element. Following internet instructions, I donned garden gloves, scooped up the baby and placed him back near the nest in the basket. He was squawking and his parents were raising a ruckus. In fact, the folks continued their chirping for an hour afterward. It took them a bit longer than that to finally attend to the nest again!
The one bird tried to make his great escape Friday evening. I took a picture (more parental hallabaloo) and you can see the little thing near the top where the wires start to cross. I’m pretty sure this was the same rascal I rescued. He must have flown down gently last Tuesday, only it was too soon for him to figure out how to fly back upward. He flew down from the top of the basket back into the nest as night was closing in.
Yesterday, both little birds joined the world at large. We took the nest out today. There was one unhatched egg tangled deep inside. Part of me was proud that I helped that adventrous baby have four more much-needed nights in his nest. Yet I think I was a little sad to see the two leave the nest. It reminded me of our two kids leaving their own home nest. Birds fly and so does time.
I’m pretty sure these birds are bushtits (who came up with that name anyway?)