Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bird Drama

Remember this?  I tried so hard to keep those little birds from building their nest in my hanging planter.  I knew they'd regret it but they were not to be talked out of it. 

And not only that but a robin built a nest on top of our outdoor patio light.  You would think by now I'd be expecting it but it startles me every time I startle those birds.  The robin's nest is not nearly as pretty as the finch's cute little round one (honestly, it's a mess) but Robin is not trying to keep up with the Finches.  She thinks she owns the place. Here she is waiting impatiently for me to get out of her backyard!

I hadn't seen the mama finch for several days and assumed that she'd abandoned her nest.  Lindsey wanted me to show her cousins the tiny eggs so I took down the hanging basket to show them and there were five fuzzy babies in the nest - dead.  We quickly rehung the basket and tried to distract the little girls.  It wasn't quite the nature lesson we wanted to teach them! 

Two days later, I asked Jeff to please take the nest out and dispose of it - I couldn't do it.  When he started to remove the nest, he noticed the birds were not dead at all and their little sides were heaving up and down.  We've watched the nest from a distance and finally seen Ma and Pa Finch flying back and forth to the nest again.   

So that brings us to the drama... today we had a huge and very loud hailstorm.  My girls were at the window, very concerned that the babies would either drown or get pummeled to death.  They begged me to let them bring the nest in the house.  Instead we made a makeshift hanging-flower-basket cover out of a cardboad box covered with a plastic garbage bag.  (If you send me a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check for $19.99, I'll send you the directions.  Order right now and I'll include a second copy for free!) 

With this lovely roof addition, I do believe we scared the poor mama away and the girls were convinced she would never return. They turned on the heat lamp in the bathroom, drove to PetSmart and bought an eye dropper and some baby bird food.  

I gave up my vigil to get some work done and when they got back with their provisions, they went outside to feed their young 'uns.  But alas, as they approached the basket, the mama - who was doing what every mama does - was sitting on her nest, trying to protect her babies from these completely obnoxious giants who kept fussing with them.  The girls were disappointed they couldn't hand-feed the babies.  My college girls.   

Let me just say, I do appreciate their tender hearts toward animals.  It reminded me of all the times they begged us, with tears and wailing, to stop the car and pick up that dog along the side of the road who was starving and homeless and would die if we didn't take it with us.  

Or the spring when we discovered two large parrots sitting on a branch in the backyard.  The girls were probably 2, 4 and 6 years old.  After a chorus of begging "If we catch them, can we keep them?" we decided that we were pretty safe to say "Yes.  Absolutely.  If you catch them, you can keep them!"  They proceeded to made green construction paper hats (which they said would make them look like tree branches) and made a trail of sunflower seeds from the base of the tree across the patio and then went so far as to tape a row of seeds up each of their legs.  Then they stood as still as girls that age can stand, holding their little hands out toward the parrots, who I'm sure enjoyed the show.  But not as much as we did! 

So kids might grow up but some things don't change a whole lot! 

I'm kinda glad.

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