Leaving The Nest – Nature’s Song
We’ve shared before about the cardinals, and about the windbreaks to do what we can but the last month or so we’ve gotten used to our resident songbirds. We have, on top of the angora row, a flip top crate. One side is left open, and that’s our ‘tool box’ – where the small hand tools used for cleaning cages go. This way they’re in one place and easy to find when we need something.
Some time ago I went to reach in and touched a wad of what I thought was hay. I stopped to look and saw a hole in the middle of it with four tiny speckled eggs in it. Connor and I kept our eyes peeled and sure enough a small brown bird had built her nest there. It’s a good spot from a bird’s standpoint – protected, near food and water, near cover for her babies once they’re old enough. We watched her tend them, going from little bald open mouthed creatures to identifiable birds.
Yesterday they left the nest. When I went out to check the storm damage, I found all four of “our babies” on the ground over on the side. They went back to the trees and I snapped a few photos before losing track of them.
Then snapped a photo of the cardinal, another generation that trusts us and even used some of the angora fiber for her nest. We don’t bother the birds while nesting aside from normal activity that we do before they moved in. The nest in the rabbit barn will be left in case she comes back to use it again.
They look so fragile, so tiny in a big world. They can fly for short ways and mama was bringing them food as they made their way to cover. It’s tempting to want to protect them, but that isn’t the best option for a thriving population.
Whether song birds or pheasants or quail, or deer or a wide range of other wildlife, farms provide cover, food, water and habitat for them. I stood out front the other day and closed my eyes, listening to the bird symphony. Cardinals are but one of the birds that make our little spot home. They are far from domesticated, but live next to us, offering nothing tangible.
But how empty it would be to not hear the abundance of song every day. How poor are those who live in areas inhospitable for wildlife contact. They are often unseen – indeed these little ones would have largely been unseen if not for the awareness of their home for some time. It’s bittersweet to see them growing and ready to strike out in the big ol’ world.
I’ll miss their peeping as I’m working with the rabbits, but they have a vast amount of cover in back to find shelter and stay protected for a little while longer, if they choose.
There’s four more out there because of allowing a place for them to nest and grow. There’s a variety of birds around, welcomed for eating insects, seeds and other goodies that cost us nothing. They aren’t handled, of course, to keep their flight instincts intact.
Not everything is measured with dollar signs. Some things are priceless.