Friday, May 19, 2017

Bye Baby Birds

We had a little lesson on life and death today. So, I went out to check on the birds this morning. They are super cute. I wanted to bring one in just for fun. But he didn't want to be held. The one that flies away is Elliot. He flew away from me, the parents were diving towards him chirping, I thought they might attack me. Elliot tried to fly and went under the kid's slide and got across the lawn before I got him. "Okay! Sorry, sorry! I'll put you back!" And then I picked up Douglas, he's the nice bird that doesn't seem to mind us holding him. So as I held Douglas, I decided to move the nest. They've been on the north side of the tree, so we can't see them from inside the house. I thought it would be fun to see the parents coming down to them, so I moved the nest to the west side of the tree trunk. Elliot didn't like me moving it and flew into the bushes. Douglas sat there sweetly. I couldn't see where Elliot was so I left him there as I went inside to finish getting kids out the door. About a half house later, a guy came to fertilize the lawn. Usually they ask if there are any animals in the back yard but he didn't this time, and I forgot to think about the birds. Anyway, I saw him back there pulling the hose around to the far lawn and then I was like "Ah! The birds!" I ran out and grabbed Douglas, who was still there. As the guy pulled the hose, it dragged along the tree trunk right where the nest was before I moved it. Wow! I was inspired! I had been thinking to move it all week so we could see them, I was glad that I did it before the hose could get them. Then I tried to find Elliot - I didn't want the fertilizer fumes to get him. Tess came over to get Wesley - they had late start today, and she helped me find Elliot. I brought both of the birds inside and showed them to Natalie and Owen. They are sweet sweet little guys. So I felt glad I saved them from the hose. After the fertilzer guy left, I put them back out.

Probably 20 minutes later, I was at the sink and looked out the window at the nest... and couldn't see them. Hmm. I went outside, they were gone. I thought that maybe they didn't like the new location and had flapped their way over to the bush. And they are near impossible to see, so I looked for a few minutes but couldn't see them, so I went back inside. I just went along with the morning, but still watched for the parent birds to see if they gave a clue as to where the babies were. I went outside to empty the garbage, checked on the guinea pigs, kept my eyes open for any little birds hiding, and then as I walked back towards the house, I happened up on the body of a little decapitated bird. Ohhh! Oh no!! I was so sad. I had seen the neighbors cat in our backyard earlier this morning and chased it out a few times. Darn it, he got the baby birds!!! Man! I questioned heaven with a frustrated heart "Well, what was the point of all that?!?" They had been doing so good and made it through the cold nights, almost ready to fly! Only to come so close and just get eaten by the cat?!?! Boo! I spent the next 20 minutes walking around the back yard with Owen, looking for the other dead bird. I was pretty sure the cat would have been able to get both of them, and I didn't want the kids to find the dead body, so we walked back and forth and back and forth across the lawn and dirt. I didn't find the other bird body. I was so sad though, I had just had them safe in my hands, I wish I would have brought them inside!! Regret, what ifs, and if only's began to fill my thoughts. Along with thoughts of "why do I care? They're just birds, it's just nature taking it's course. We feel an interest cause we just happened to stumble upon them, but it's happening all over the place. Cats eat birds!" (We don't like cats today). I kept watching the back yard, hoping beyond hope that maybe the other bird was alive. Then, I noticed two parent birds flying down behind one of the trees in the back yard. Hope! I hurried out to see if I could see anything, and THERE HE WAS!! Bird #2 was alive! He was sitting on a pile of leaves tucked between the fence and a tree trunk, looking up at me with a "you have no idea what I've been through" look on his little bird face. Hooray!! But the cats prowl along the fence there on the property line, little birdy, you are not safe, no one is! What do we do? I tried to put a big rock on either side of the trunk thinking that might keep him safe from the paw of a cat. But no, the cat could get in there I bet. So I reached down and grabbed the little bird. I began to walk toward the house, planning to let him hide in the bushes where he was so well hidden earlier this morning, when swoosh, the little guy took flight right out of my hand! He flew! He got enough height to perch himself right up onto a low branch of the pine trees, yay!! He's up in the tree! He's safe! Up and away from the cat, he's gonna make it!
He looked so proud of himself, don't you think?
A little while later I came out to see if he was still there, and he was. I was happy to get a few more pictures. Now he's flown away and he's on his own. And if a cat gets him we'll never know.
Good luck with your life little bird! The sadness and loss I felt for the little dead bird was quickly turned to joy for the one that made it. It made me think of heaven and life. A scripture in LDS scriptures says in D&C 18:15 - "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" I did feel joy when he flew up out of my hand into the tree. We'll have a funeral tomorrow for Douglas. I'm guessing it was Elliot that survived, he seemed more like a "I'm outta here" fighter, Douglas was too nice and would just sit there when we'd hold him. Sweet little birds, two different paths. One gets to stick around here in mortality for a while longer, the other is up flying with the angels. We are grateful we got to spend a few days watching both of you grow. Goodbye little baby birds!

Saturday update: Douglas' graveside services.
Abi and our neighbor Tess (owner of the cat that got him, but there are no hard feelings. That's just how life is.)

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