Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day so a perfect day to share the story of our birds.

No, we don't have birds as pets, but we do have a rather large bird population that frequents our yard and the yards of those around us. Each year, the birds build nests in the area and one of their favorite nesting spots is inside our car port.

Next to our house we have a large storage shed and the back wall of the shed (the wood storage area) isn't a full wall. It has vertical boards with spaces between the boards.

One day a few months ago, I had mentioned to Ole that we needed to move some items that were stored in that area because they were getting very dirty from the birds and from things blowing through the open walls. A few days later he discovered the reason for so much bird dirt - we had a nest in our shed...

That white metal part is the place where our garden hose hangs. At the time the nest was built, the hose was still there! Apparently, for this particular momma bird, the car port wasn't good enough for her babies so she chose a more secluded spot inside our shed! Quite an elaborate structure - the condo living of bird life, so to speak.

I told Ole that we couldn't move the nest after she spent so much time building it! But then, about 3 weeks ago, I needed the hose so that was a bit of an issue. I decided then that I would take down the nest. But, when I lifted it off the hose, I discovered 3 little eggs inside and suddenly I had huge guilt! I set the whole nest carefully on a shelf, removed the hose, and then put the nest back up and hoped for the best. As it turns out (thank you google) birds have little or no sense of smell, so despite popular belief, they really could care less that you've touched their nest. And, if you do ever find a baby bird, with or without feathers, out of their nest, the best thing to do is to simply pick them up and put them back in the nest.

(I'm fascinated by the construction that goes into these nests. When you get a chance to look at one up close, it's pretty amazing.)

About a week later, as I opened the door to the shed, 3 little beaks popped up! And each time I opened the door after that, I could hear momma bird quickly fly away, always to return when I left the area. I grabbed my camera one day and managed to get a little photo of the babies...

It's quite difficult to figure out what's going on there as it's just a pile of feathers and beaks, but I think there are 3 little fledglings in there. This past week, I wanted to get another photo figuring they'd be a bit bigger now but when I went to take a picture... I found an empty nest.

Our little birdies flew the coop. They're all grown up and off on their own in this big, bad world. Perhaps this time next year, they'll return to raise their own little babies.

To all the mothers out there - whether your babies are still in the nest, or have grown up and are off on their own...

Happy Mother's Day
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