Going to the Birds
Have you ever heard the expression, “Going to the birds”? Well . . . last week was that for me! First, we are driving along a busy city street and I see a baby bird in the road right by the curb. It is hopping up, over and over, trying to get up on the curb to safety and his mama. Though I yell, “STOP the car!” . . . the driver does NOT! (It could have something to do with the fast moving traffic behind us?) So, the best we could do is to turn on the next street and pull into a parking lot.
I go running back (I know you are trying to visualize that!) to the location of the bird sighting. Little baby bird is still hop, hop, hopping away, trying to get up on the curb. Caught up in the moment, I step into the street (Remember the heavy traffic? They were not happy!) and I stop the oncoming cars. I gently put my hands under the baby bird and lift him up on the grass. I am trying to concentrate on preserving the wild kingdom and ignoring the horns when I feel something hit my hair . . . I know what you think . . . it was not that! All of a sudden I hear, over the blasting horns, mama bird squawking and realize she is dive bombing my head! My first thought was, “she doesn’t realize I am trying to help her baby.” So I try to explain it to her. By the way, I am not sure English was her first language. She did not seem comforted by my explanation! So, I did what you do when someone doesn’t understand you . . . I talked louder . . . but to no avail . . . so then I took off running down the block . . . thinking she might not recognize me from behind!?!?! Bad news . . . she continued to chase me, screaming and attacking my head till I was able to get back in the car. All I can say is, “thank goodness for big hair!”
Just when I think my interactions with the bird world are over, I pull into the driveway of our beach house on Friday night, only to find a bird nest in the middle of the gravel driveway and 4 speckled eggs. When I pull over, I see mama bird running around like mad pretending to have a broken wing trying to lure me away from her nest. (I instinctively cover my head!) Well . . . what do I do? I have several car loads of friends coming in for the weekend . . . and a bird nest in the driveway! I do what anyone would do . . . I set up orange traffic cones around the perimeter of the nest so that no one mistakenly drives over it and then I call every friend that is coming and tell them to notice the cones and not disturb the nest. (By the way, they think I am a bit nuts!)
Everything is going fine until Saturday night. You know what happened . . . the sky opened up and it poured rain! It is 11:00 at night and I am fretting about the poor bird sitting on her eggs in the rain. I finally come up with a perfect solution. So . . . in my pajamas I go out into the rain, get a plastic picnic table off the deck and put it over the nest. Perfect solution (I thought!). Now they will be protected from the rain and I didn’t have to disturb them. Not exactly . . . mama bird had a fit! She is running around, playing lame and trying to keep me away. I back away, behind the carport watching her to make sure she will go back and sit on her eggs . . . you guessed it . . . she did not ! I stood there for 20 minutes (pajamas and rain!) and she would not cross through the legs of the table. In her mind I think she thinks it is a huge monster hovering over her babies. She continues to try to lure the table away from her nest. Finally, worried that her eggs would get cold . . . I removed the table and went back to bed. She immediately returned to her eggs.
I have since realized (and several friends have reminded me) that birds get rained on quite often without human protection and they seem to be doing just fine! Sometimes you try to do good and it doesn’t work out . . . but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying!
To keep with the bird theme . . . ”sometimes you are the BIRD, and sometimes you are the STATUE” :-)