Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Family in the 'Hood

If you didn’t already know this, you’ll know it now: I am a city girl, and I’ve never seen a real live bird’s nest in action. Can you imagine that I’ve reached the age of 68 and have never watched the building of a nest, the hatching of eggs, and the feeding of little birdies? Well, that’s the truth . . . and here’s what’s been happening right outside the window where I sit to peck away on my little Mac.

I guess it was a month or so ago when Frank noticed some birds building a nest on the other side of our “company room” or “Two Rocks and a Hubcap Music Hall,” as it is called from time to time. Every time the little critters would begin a nest, he’d tear it down, bad boy that he is. Didn’t want the poop all over everything. So, Mama and Papa Bird did what any good parents who were being evicted would do . . . they found another spot to construct: this side of the CR or TRAAHMH. When Papa Frank discovered what Papa Bird was doing, he put some items on the beam in hopes of discouraging the feathered father. Didn’t help one bit because one of the items was a piece of 4” PVC, just the right size for a nest. Oh, well . . . let him build!

Papa Bird built something akin to a condo, I do believe. It’s really plush . . . first a layer of grass and twigs, the usual building material for a nest, I suppose. Then he lined it with rabbit fur and, for all I know, some Maizy hair, too. Really beautiful! After about a week of flying in and out and patting down just so with his little warm body, Mama Bird took occupancy. I really don’t know when she laid her eggs; I just know that one day they were there.

She’d come home several times a day to sit on her precious eggs. This activity went on for a couple of weeks, Mama screeching at Frank and me whenever we ate supper out on the portal, where her home is located. We were very much an interruption to her routine. Frank would yell at her, “But we were here first!” Didn’t console her at all.

Finally, one day, we saw movement in the nest. How “my heart leapt up”! As I mentioned earlier, I had never seen baby birds in a nest. We think there are five babies, and believe me, they keep both Mama and Papa busy all day long bringing a little something to eat for each one. They can’t carry food for more than one baby at a time. I don’t know how they know whom they fed the last time, for they all look alike to me. Guess it’s like people parents who have quintuplets . . . each one is different. Or maybe they have names or birthmarks or something. Beats me! In any event, those little ones call out for their parents constantly, and someone’s mouth is always open, waiting for a little sustenance.

Why am I so amazed and taken with this new family? It’s because once again, I see God in action. This little Bird Family can’t be an accident; it has to be evidence of God’s creation. I never can understand how anyone can look at nature and not see the hand of God.

By the way . . . my friends Annie and Susan identified the family as Say’s Phoebes, birds that are abundant in our part of New Mexico. All I know is that they’re oh so cute and that they don’t like for me to go out with my camera, but the Paparazzo doesn’t care. Here’s a picture from last week. Today, they play possum every time I go out with my camera.

Our photographer daughter, Wendy, has better luck and a much better camera. She took this picture this evening.

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