Friday, May 7, 2010

In Awe of Mother Birds

For the past several weeks,  my front door has been an off-access area.  This happened when my husband and my two youngest Angel Daughters informed me that in the mornings they noticed that there was the shadow of a little bird sitting quietly behind the wreath which I had placed there last fall.  So, thinking like the mother bird that I am, I quickly realized that this little bird had built a nest behind the wreath that I had hung upon my door and was using it to sit on her eggs!
Like the obsessive-compulsive, fairly over-protective(I have seen worse!) Jewish momma that I am, I quickly went into "protection" mode.  I made two signs, one for the inside of the house and one for the outside.  I taped the one sign on the inside over the doorknob(which my family instantly rolled their eyes at in that "Here goes mom again..." way), and then placed the other sign on the outside of the door.
There is something inside of me, something that I have absolutely NO control over.  Something that makes my ovaries tingle(sorry, guys), which makes me want to protect every living thing that I encounter.  It has been something that has possessed my nuturing soul since as far back as I can remember.  My first encounter being with three baby squirrels that I found in the woods behind my childhood home.  Their mother had abandoned them and I just knew that they would die if I didn't take over the job, so, with my father's permission(or most likely, submission), I found a tree stump in our backyard which would serve as their new home.  Everyday, I fed and played with them.  I even went so far as to try to teach them tricks because I was going to be the ringmaster of the first Squirrel circus!  But, alas, squirrels are...Well, squirrels, and after two of them succumbed to an illness and went to squirrel heaven, the third one continued to grow.  When he began to bite me, we decided that it was no longer a good idea to handle him and he moved into our garage.  We left the door open far enough for him to come and go, which he did for well over a year.  I like to think that after that, he was mature enough to go out to create a little squirrel family of his own.

After that, my parents let me keep a stray cat which had slept on our porch for over eight months.  It was difficult being the animal-loving child of a mother who did not want paw prints on her clean tile floors.  But even she could not keep me from rescuing as many stray and wounded animals as possible.

The drive in me could not be ignored.

At the top of the wreath, there sits the little nest just where the hook holds it onto the door.  Not exactly engineered with sturdiness in mind, but if I were a little bird, I might look at the little nook as an out of the way safe place to nest.

And so, for the next three weeks, we watched as momma and daddy bird waited over their eggs.

We have two tall trees in our front yard, and whenever I would go outside to retrieve the mail or to pick up packages from the front doorstep, this is what I would encounter.  This pretty daddy bird with his red neck and head, singing a chirpy warning song from atop the tree.  He would watch me intently as I went about my business.  I'm still not sure what he would have done had I posed a threat to his babies.  Dive-bomb my head?  Poop on my shoulder?

His lovely, long-tailed mate would sit at the top of the other tree, waiting for me to go away.
Sometimes she would give me the tail-feathers.  But once I walked away, she would swoop back down and sit protectively upon her nest.  A mother's work is never done.
I am happy to report that there are two adorable baby House Finches nesting safely behind the wreath on my front door.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good picture of them because of my height restrictions.(even while standing on a chair)  I was able to get a photo of another set of babies who are about the same age.  There are three tiny hatchlings in this nest, although they are beginning to crowd one another out.  These little beauties hatched about nine days ago behind a light fixture at our beach house.

Soon they will learn to fly and the cycle will begin again
I know that someday soon, I will be able to remove the signs from my door and activity in and out of our home will resume to normal.  But I will not be removing the wreath or the nest.  I have read that House Finches often return to the same nesting spot to hatch their next brood.  I have also witnessed this by experience.  I will honor this momma bird by leaving her home in tact and not disturbing her nest.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies out there and also, to all who mother.  Being a mom does not only mean creating children.  It means nurturing others.  It means cultivating ideas.  It means fostering, sustaining and providing.  It means loving and cherishing.  And sometimes it means birthing oneself.

Four Angel's Momma(most days)

PS-To my own little flock of angels:  Thank you for making me what I have always wanted to be: A mommy.

AD1-You were my first.  Thank you for letting me practice on you.  I may not have always gotten it right, but I certainly tried my best.  You are the best teacher that a mommy could ever have. You are such a shining star in my sky.

AD2-Thank you for challenging me and teaching me that coloring outside of the lines is just as important as coloring inside of the lines!  You see colors that the rest of us may never see.  You are my monkey butt!

AD3-Thank you for bringing springtime into my life.  Thank you for reminding me that there is always room in the world for "the other Gabriellas"(as long as they clean up the monkey poop).  Thank you for wearing flowers in your hair.  You are my laughter because you get the jokes.

AD4-Thank you for reminding me that we should all dance more.  You taught all of us that there is always room for one more and that the one more is more than one could have ever dreamed of.  You are my sunshine.

And thank you, Mark, for being the best daddy that a momma could choose.  Without you, none of us would be who we are and who we will become.  You father your daughters like a guy who actually knows what he is doing!  And to all of us, YOU ARE THE MAN!

Hello Skywatchers!  Thank you for popping in!  Please say hello and let me know a bit about you.  I look forward to seeing your SkyWatch posts this week.


fickleinpink said...

I think I'm going to stay awhile by your blog, it's a very wonderful place!

happy weekend!

How small are we?

Laura Hegfield said...

Oh Deb this is a wonderful full of love....perfect for every mother whether blessed with human children or animal babies (or both) just perfect! Happy Mothers Day!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. Loved the pictures and bless you for watching over the birds while nesting and hatching their babies. I enjoyed this post so much.

Happy Mother's Day sweet Deb. Hugs

tj said...

...Oh Miss Deb, you ROCK! This post is so sweet and I would do the exact same thing for that lil' feathered family...we are kindred spirits you and I! ;o)

...Happy Mother's Day girl!

...Blessings and {{{{hugs}}}} :o)

Karen Deborah said...

Happy Mothers Day to you! We have had babies on the front door before too, but I did move things after to wash the poop away. Baby birdies poop a lot!

Kcalpesh said...

Beautiful! Love the bird shots!

Pixellicious Photos

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...what a beautiful post and the wee birds are too cute. i hope you had a wonderful mother's day and keep us posted on your when your new babies up and fly!

Sunshine said...

Hey Deb,

Love your post.. It's very nice and i love the most is your new pic with your hubby.. It's increbily lovely pic of both of you!


Anonymous said...

What an honest and heartfelt post. This was great to read. Thanks for sharing this.

tisha said...

Hi Debra!

Great blog, I've enjoyed browsing around. And what a lovely Mother's day post! How lucky those little birdies are to be in the safe nest of your front door. :-)
Have a wonderful week!

Angela Recada said...

I love this post! Baby animals are just the cutest little things, and I understand those Jewish mama urges all too well, myself!

Thanks for becoming my 200th follower!!!!! (I can't believe I have that many!)

Poetikat said...

So much to address here...

You and I would get on well in real life, I think. I feed birds and squirrels and rabbits in my backyard; we've had nests of robins and cardinals in the tree out front and once had robins nesting beside the front door of our old townhouse.

I think the red-headed fellow is a house-finch, but I can't be sure, since you're in a different region than I am.

Since we've lived in this house, my husband and I have rescued a baby squirrel, a homing pigeon—even a rat!

This is one of the most charming posts I've ever seen, Debra and I have to tell you, that is one gorgeous front door!



(Back from the dead after finally get a book together.)

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