Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Empty nest syndrome.

It was quiet for a week or two; no one was around at all. It was odd, since the place had always been jumping. But there wasn't a soul about.

Then I saw the sign appear.

Yes, the birds, whose nest-building, birth, nurturing, and growth I have chronicled on this blog have fled the nest. Mom's gone too. The nest is abandoned.

I watched the babies grow from little hungry beaks peeking up over the nest edge to big birds upon whose heads Mom sat at night. Then suddenly they were all gone.

As I mentioned to correspondent and all-around gentleman Mongo, I have no idea what kind of birds these were. Black with yellowish beaks. Growing up in the city, the only birds I ever saw were pigeons, gulls, mascots of baseball teams, and cartoon birds in children's books and on TV. Those cartoon birds always lived in nests all the time, or maybe a birdhouse, or a hole in a hollow tree. I had no idea as a child that when Mom defenestrated the children she, too, would become homeless.

But it makes sense. As George Carlin said, "That's all your house is---a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time." And birds ain't got no stuff.

Well, sign notwithstanding, I figured the birds wouldn't be coming back, so I got rid of the nest. There were no handy kids around who needed a science project, so I just pitched it.

I hope the birds make out okay. Yesterday evening, as the wife and I sat outside, enjoying the gorgeous weather, we saw four tiny black birds hectoring what we think (like I should know?) was a red-tailed hawk. That hawk was determined to go after what those four black birds did not want him to go after. They circled around and around for quite some time. Last I saw three of the black birds had peeled off, and the last one was following the hawk down into the trees. I have a feeling the hawk won.

It's a dangerous world out there in nature. Maybe the black birds should think about constructing something a little more solid, something a little more sheltering. Maybe out of bricks.

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