My son, decided this would be the perfect opportunity to touch a LIVE bird and perhaps gain a new pet. He and his brother have spent many hours catching bugs and toads this summer and trying to keep them alive. He once even tried desperately to lasso a fly with a long hair so he could have a pet on a leash for the circus the kids were planning to put on for the neighborhood.
He set to stalking the baby bird and trying to get just close enough to pick it up or at least touch it, but every time it half hopped, half flew away. I wasn’t sure that the little bird would make it anyway so I figured it really wouldn’t hurt for him to touch it, but when our dog decided to become interested in the little creature I called off the chase. As I did, another bird came on the scene. Not much bigger, but browner, and fully developed, a little mother wren- with a worm in her mouth -dive bombed our little entourage, scolding our dog quite fiercely and attempting to run him off. I was amazed to see the mother come from seemingly nowhere, take the worm directly to the little bird now hiding under the big squash leaves in our garden and then begin battle on behalf of her charge. She had known exactly where her hungry baby was and strengthened him before taking over the warrior’s stance.
I tied the dog and had to once again coral my children as now the others wanted to see the little baby bird and try to get close to him. The poor mother bird didn’t give up. She scolded and chased and dive-bombed. The little bird followed suit, looking at his mother then back at my kids and scolding them in bird chatter. I called the children away. “Look everybody, the mother is still taking care of this baby even though he’s not in the nest or able to fly yet. She just brought him a worm and she’s putting her life on the line to warn off any predators. Let’s leave them alone and see if just maybe the little birdie will make it.”
I couldn’t help but think of mothers I know whose children have tried to fly from their nest before their wings were fully developed. Struggling and hungry, the fledglings hop around; easy prey for the big kids and the dogs. I haven’t known birds to be that defense of their young once they’ve flown the coop, but this mother was determined. Be encouraged you mothers who know the feeling. Who are still hunting worms for your struggling teenagers, strengthening them even as they are in hiding and diving bombing perspective enemies on their behalf. Your persistence will win out. Your love shines through. Your sacrifice is worth the effort. Your prayers will take effect. Just another day or two and their wings will be developed. They will continue to mimic you. The hop-skip will turn into a solo flight, and soon they will be soaring through the clouds and catching worms for their own little babies. ~July 23, 2011