Just outside our front door, in the little nook where the column meets the porch overhang, a little gray and brown bird has built a nest. I think she’s a pretty smart bird, actually—her nest is shaded from the heat and the sun, hidden from predators, except for our dog, Max, who has been known to wait expectantly under it. I have shooed Max off several times and I’m sure she wonders why I’m making her get off her own porch, which is her right in the doggie constitution or something. I don’t think she completely knows what’s up there, just that she can’t get at it and it makes noise. And, like the other random things in our yard, it might be tasty. And yes, Max is a girl. Just to confuse you.
I’ve been watching the nest for several weeks now through the transom above our door, and we’ve even changed our traffic patterns to give the poor mama bird some peace. She diligently sat on that nest, and then just a couple of weeks ago I noticed she was gone and that there was movement. We had baby birds! I felt like passing out birdseed cigars or something.
We’ve been watching these babies grow, lose their downy fluff. I have ownership in them; it worries me when I only see three heads peeking up instead of four. We’ve seen mama bird regurgitate worms and such for them, their wobbly heads popping straight up and their mouths opening as soon as they hear her coming. I have been threatening to pad the concrete underneath the nest just in case anyone falls when it is time to learn to fly.
So, silly as it may seem, I’m preparing myself for the day that I look up and the nest is empty, and instead of cradling four fluffy baby birds, it is just a mess of sticks and dirt. I know they’re not mine—they’re birds. They’re barely even mama bird’s birds. She’ll just have another bunch next summer, I’m sure. It isn’t like she’s going to sit around the empty nest saying, “They don’t call; they don’t write!”
I could go on but I don’t think anyone really needs me to draw any parallels here. And besides, I have to go regurgitate worms—er, I mean, make lunch—for my boys.