Back in April, a house sparrow got inside my blue bird house and killed all four baby blue birds. The site of those poor, defenseless, featherless babies was one of the saddest things I have encountered to date.
When the blue birds returned, a few weeks later, and began to build a new nest, I was both hopeful and dismayed. For weeks, I have worried and fretted over the blue bird babies as if they were my own children. I have stood at the window, obsessing, binoculars in hand, and watched the process every step of the way with no small amount of pride and delight. The nest building. The egg laying, and within the last three weeks, the feeding.
When the first egg had been laid, I put up a sparrow spooker to keep those heartless competitors away from “my” nest box. When I saw them nearby, I ran outside to shoo them away. Knowing I could not guard the birdhouse 24:7, I prayed to God for the baby blue birds’ safekeeping. Morning and evening I stood beneath the bird house, my heart thrilling to the unmistakable sound of their peeping.
Each summer I have the task of painting the deck on the back of my house and since it was a bright, sunny morning, today seemed a good day to start. But first, I went out front to make my rounds. I noticed Mama blue bird acting peculiarly. She sat on a telephone wire above, letting me know in no uncertain terms that my presence wasn’t welcome. I cautiously approached the bird house and there, in the shade of the weeping crab tree, I discovered my pay day. The first fledgling had left the nest! I grabbed my camera, snapped this photo, and then left mother alone to show her baby the ropes.
Throughout the morning I couldn’t resist peeking into the front yard to see what they were up to. The baby seemed content to sit in the sun, occasionally ruffling his feathers as Mama stood guard. Around noon, with the deck painting well underway, I decided to take a break. After lunch, I went out to the front yard to check on baby’s progress and discovered he was gone. I immediately began to fret, thinking of all the possible scenarios. I thought of slithery snakes, and hungry stray cats on the prowl. Had he somehow gotten into the road? Had some evil hawk come along and carried him away? I did a thorough check of the yard, looking under every bush and shrub. Not finding him anywhere, I sent up a last prayer for his safekeeping and went out back to finish my deck.
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?