Two years ago, when we purchased “The Schroll Ranch”, the previous caretaker told Mom & Dad that they had left a birdhouse for us hanging from the roof that covers our back patio. They went on to explain how they loved to watch birds, and they were going to take the house with them, but when they looked it was being used, and they just couldn’t displace the birds. The wife had asked that we at least leave it for the season and if we didn’t like it to feel free to take it down over the winter if it wasn’t in use, of course, we agreed. The bird house has been in the same place since we moved in with what appeared to be light use.
This Spring brought us new tenants, a male, and female who laid at least three eggs; storms got the better of one of the eggs before it could develop, and we found it cracked on the pavement. Several weeks pass and we notice the female making frequent calls when we’re outside in an attempt to get us to keep our distance, a good sign of hatch-lings. A week or so passes and we find a very frail hatch-ling on the patio below. This is sad, but Dad lays the hatch-ling to rest, and we note Momma is still attentive to the home, so maybe there is still a baby?
As more time passes we see momma bird feeding the third hatch-ling, her baby getting bigger, and stronger every day. With each passing meal delivered the baby is more and more out-going. We start to see the baby practically hanging out of the door as momma works tirelessly to feed her growing baby.
All of us are taking such joy in watching this little one grow, seeing momma bringing meal after meal, and taking her posts to warn everyone away when we are out cooking on the grill, mowing the lawn, or just as I pass on my daily zooms.
Today Mom was up first to let me out and to feed the cats. As she opened the door, we were sad to find the last of our tenant’s brood had passed. Mom quickly collected him and gently placed him in a box, safely away from me and other critters who may be curious about the baby. Later we noticed that both the mother and father seemed to be searching for their baby. Mom quickly opened the box and placed it nearer the bird house so the family could see that their young one had passed.
We don’t know how, or why, we only know that we lost a life that will be missed. Dad laid the bird to rest in the wild flowers that line or back fence, as he did the hatchling, knowing that in some way there will be a connection with further life.
On this Memorial Day weekend, please remember how precious all life is, that we never know just how long we have, and we are all someone’s baby bird who will always be loved. Remember to give thanks for all the lives, great and small who grace us with their presence.