My beloved bluebirds nested three times this season, a record here on Bickley’s Pond. Still that is not the most surprising thing that happened around here this summer. This is.
One precious teenager, whom we assume was born of the early brood, started hanging around during the last hot days of the third nesting. It was mid-July and Mama and Daddy were very busy trying to satiate 2017 babies numbers eleven, twelve, thirteen and fourteen.
(These loving parents were also, I am quite certain, exhausted.)
Junior waited. And watched.
Then he started hopping about the yard digging for worms and spiders and creepy crawlies. But rather than eating them himself, the youngster flew to the nest time and time again feeding the bounty to his little brothers and sisters.
On Day 17 the brave little babies climbed to the opening, flapped their wings and jumped from the nest for the very first time. I wasn’t there to witness their fledging (I’m sad to say) but I am quite certain their big brother was very close by, cheering them on.
It was a sweet way to spend July, watching this little group, a reminder of the strength of love, the power of encouragement, and the bonds of family, united.
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It’s nearly impossible to see into the bluebird nest, something I’ve mentioned before. This is a very GOOD thing, yes? Unless you are…let’s say…ME, and what you want is a confirming look that those babies are doing fine.
Better still, a little video proof.
How could I make this happen, in short order and without unnecessarily upsetting the Mama and/or Papa? What I needed was a moment alone with the babies, a feeding time opening when the parents were out rustling up some wormy grub, and a tiny bit of light pointed right down into that birdhouse hole. That made this a two-man job.
And along comes my sweet Eliza, just home from her junior year in college. I grabbed her by the arm and drug her down the stairs to the studio to see my new babies. (She was very accommodating, even if not that interested until she actually saw them. Then she swooned, just like me. Could you just shine your little iPhone light right in there? I asked.I’d like to see if it’s possible to grab a little video clip.
Oh, did we succeed. Look at this show, no doubt brought to us by Baby Harry.
I laugh every time I see it. What joy these little creatures bring!
Thankfully, the storms never materialized. And while I haven’t seen the snake in three or four days, I did see sweet foo foo just last night, foo foo the brown bunny who is not the slightest bit skiddish about me or my camera.
I did spend some time down in the studio looking out the big window, hoping hoping hoping for a bluebird sighting. My heart longed for a little reassurance, just a glimpse of Mama or Papa coming or going, proof without intrusion that things are going okay for those babies.
It wasn’t long before she gave me the incredible gift of this confirmation.
It took me a minute to catch my breath. Then I did a little dance in my studio, happy to have the birds nest, happy the babies have made it to Day 3, happy to be reminded there is nothing on earth more powerful—or beautiful—than a mother’s love.