Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Learning from the Birds

Phoebe babies a day before fledging last year.

We have several birds nesting very near to our house. A Phoebe has already fledged her chicks, she has had them in this same nest for about 3 years now, which is in the exposed rafters of our covered front porch. She usually double broods, so we may get another bunch soon. There is a bush just under my bathroom/ bedroom window and I noticed a Chipping Sparrow building a nest there. When I went to check it out I saw four tiny blue eggs with brown flecks. They were no bigger around than a dime, tiny little things. I look out my window multiple times a day and it seemed as if these eggs were just never going to hatch. But then I went outside to investigate on Sunday and found these little cuties ready for a meal, eyes not even open yet.
I was watching them from my window on Tuesday when I saw Mom hop up to the nest with two green caterpillars (or catapillaries as Brayden would call them) and begin to feed the babies. Then Dad hopped up with two more. I watched as they both began to stuff the meal down the throats of the babies. One caterpillar Dad brought was just too big and he had to rip it up in order to make it fit.
We as humans believe our experience is so different and somehow more important than the creatures of our shared earth, but they are not. How many times have I cut food in pieces in order to get them into my children's mouths. How many times a day do I hear "I'm hungry" which is the equivalent of the above picture! How many times do we break up the knowledge we have into manageable pieces and carefully deliver it to our children so they are not overwhelmed. Every day, multiple times a day. As parents we work together to feed our kids, make the "nest" safe and comfortable and protect them from outside dangers. When I went to peek at the little sparrows a couple of days ago I heard one of the parents throwing a fit in a nearby tree. I probably gave them a heart attack. I think we can learn so much about ourselves and our existence here by watching other animals and how they live. May it be so.

1 comment:

chisato said...

Beautifully written, Jennifer!