I don't know when the first day of spring is this year, so I'm pretending it's today. The skies are blue, the sun is shining and it's a beautiful, albeit chilly day.
On our walk this morning, Ozzy and I came across a bird's nest in a tree that we've probably passed every day. Either I never noticed the nest or it's being prepared. I raised up on my tip toes to peek inside and it was empty. The nest sits on a branch of a young tree in our common area where people walk their dogs and of course, there are those who don't pick up after their dogs. It's annoying because I have to walk gingerly, looking down or I'm liable to step in a hot mess that usually isn't easy to remove from my shoes or boots which has, of course, happened.
I'm surprised the birds have built a nest in this spot because it's heavily traveled and the little tree is barely seven feet high. Last summer, I heard chirping and found a baby bird lying on the ground, its eyes barely open. I always walk with my eyes to the ground for poop purposes which is a good thing because I might have stepped on the baby. The birdling was weak, wet and not happy about his situation. He kept opening his mouth for food and my immediate impulse was to pick up the birdling and place it in the nest I'd discovered on a low branch of the tree closest to the baby. But I didn't touch the baby for fear that I'd do something wrong. I remembered someone telling me that if a human touches a baby bird, its mother might reject it and I didn't know if that was an old myth, so I went home to search the Internet to see what I should do. As I walked home, I had a real fear that the many feral cats in my neighborhood would snatch the baby before I got back. I was a nervous wreck!
What I learned was that I had to fill a clean, plastic container with shredded paper and nail it to the tree, as close to the nest as I could and using gloves, pick up the baby and place it in the makeshift nest. I left Ozzy in the house and ran back to the common area with the materials to save this baby -- I was on a mission! Thank goodness the baby was still there. I looked around for the mother, but I didn't see any birds. I could hear one though, off in the distance as I nailed the container to the tree.
The instant I picked up the baby, a bird came out of nowhere and swooped down, aiming for my head! I ducked and honest to God, that bird continued her 'attack' until I moved away from the tree and crossed the street. Then, the bird sat on a power line and we watched each other. How stupid of me to think that the bird would be thankful that I'd rescued the baby! I laughed at my naivete and told the bird that I would have done the same thing if anyone had touched my babies.
The next day, Ozzy and I went out for our walk and the nest was empty. I listened and checked the surrounding area and nothing. I hoped the bird had taken the baby to a safer location, but I also wondered if a cat had indeed killed the birdling. I'd never know. I'd done my part and realized that nature would do as nature does. I also laughed because if it weren't for the poop left behind by irresponsible dog owners , I might not have been looking down that day :) C'est la vie.
Happy weekend to you!
Peace and love,