Wednesday, July 26, 2017
A Family of Wrens
A few weeks ago, I noticed a little wren hopping around one of my hanging flower pots on my back porch. That evening, I went outside to water my flowers, as I do every evening, and just as I raised the watering can up to the pot, the little wren frantically flew out, barely missing my face. I peered inside the plant and sure enough…there lay a perfectly constructed nest, nestled in between the plants’ branches.
A few days later, three little eggs were deep inside the nest. By this time, however, I learned to let the wren know I was approaching her home in order to avoid dodging her frantic exit.
Though watering my plant proved a bit cumbersome in terms of not disturbing the nest, I have enjoyed watching this little wren over the past few weeks. She and her partner were dutiful parents, feeding their babies constantly and chirping frantically when anyone was on the back porch…which happened quite a lot, I might add.
A couple of evenings ago, Tami was hanging out on the porch while I watered my plants. I did my usual routine as I approached the plant with the little family of birds. However, the mama bird no longer resided with her babies. She stopped by regularly to feed them, and definitely kept a close eye…but she was rarely in the plant as her babies fully inhabited the nest by themselves. But this time as I approached and started to water the flowers, a bird frantically flew out, barely missing my face.
“It’s one of the babies!” Tami exclaimed.
And sure enough. The baby flew out, landed on the porch, hopped underneath the grill, and began to wildly chirp in its distress.
Both of my cats were hanging out on the porch as well, as they typically do, and, their interest perked, they both made a mad dash towards the grill, their eyes wide with delight:
Tami and I flew into action — scooping up the cats, throwing them in the house, and launched a mission to save the baby and get it back in its nest where it belonged.
But that baby bird? She just wasn’t having it.
She hopped and flew and chirped her way around the yard. Her little wings weren’t quite ready to launch so she couldn’t go far, and it was clear that she was tiring of this game as we were in hot pursuit. I finally got a lightweight kitchen towel and Tami threw it on her, quickly grabbed her and wrapped her up so there was no escape.
We gently placed her back in the nest, swaddling the plant with the towel so that she couldn’t escape, and waited.
Once it was quiet, I removed the towel and peered inside. There she was — huddled deep inside the nest with her siblings, comfy and cozy and safe.
Ah - success.
The next day, the parents were going crazy with all of their hopping around the plant and frantic chirping. It was clear that they were doing their best to entice their babies out of the nest. And so, once again, we locked the cats inside and waited.
By noon, the nest was deserted. I spied some wrens in the large tree in our yard, chirping away and flying from branch to branch. But by that evening? Perfectly quiet. No wrens in sight.
I will miss the little family the dwelled within my flowers. But I must say, my face feels much safer now.
And I’m grateful for that.
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