Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Baby Birds and Friendly Squierrels

Last week Kyle came in from the front yard and announced that a baby bird had flown out of its nest and was now stuck. I was bit confused about how a bird might be "stuck" so I asked him if he was sure. It turns out he was right.

Each year since we've lived in this house a bird family will build a next up in the porch overhang. We love when spring time comes and our living room window is open and we hear the baby birds chirping away as the mama bird returns to the nest to feed them. I ponder over how quiet they are until the mama bird flies in with food. Survival of the fittest I suppose. Baby who chirps loudest gets fed more? I don't know. Mother nature has her ways.

The nest is high up and I don't like to frighten the birds so I just zoom in as best as I can to take a photo of the nest.

Kyle explained that the baby bird had taken flight and then flew into the neighbor's giant palm bush and was stuck. When I bent down to look, indeed there was the baby bird and it seemed he didn't know how to get out. I reached in ever so gingerly to free the bird and he quickly flapped his wings and sort of jumped out of the thick palm leaves.

He then went straight into the street! I thought he was scared of us so we didn't touch him again. Instead we just waited on the sidewalk to be sure any cars coming home from work wouldn't run him over. Within just a minute the momma and daddy birds came down onto the street and seemed to be urging the baby out of danger. They recruited helpers. This was quite fascinating to watch and how I wish I had my camera to record the phenomena.

Really it didn't take too long for the baby bird to hop all the way across the street and into our neighbor's lawn. I guessed he was just tired and needed a rest before taking flight again. So, I ran into the house to grab my phone and without getting too close to startle him I took a photo. He was quite tiny and oh so cute to look at resting in the grass.

The momma and daddy birds were both on the rooftop of the house next to this one and clearly monitoring the situation. 

I told Kyle we should go inside and let the birds know we were not going to harm their baby.

The next day Kyle asked me in the car if animals have feelings. I said they do and asked what was making him think about that. He talked about the baby bird flying out of its nest and getting stuck and the other birds coming to help it. He wondered if the baby bird was afraid. Hearing your children have empathy for other living things leaves you with a sense of pride. The fact that he sought help for the bird in the first place, but that he was still thinking about it the next day and likely relating to the bird. He's so curious about how the outside world relates to him and I love being witness to that.


Over the weekend we had a trip up the freeway to Fountain Valley where my daughter had a softball tournament. Before our first game of the day the girls had warm ups and I took the boys to the playground. Just next door was a golf course with lots of trees and we discovered several squirrels playing. One would run, almost hop over to an open space and then stand there and shimmy his tail. Another would run down the trunk of a tree and give chase to the other. We stood there on our side of the fence watching and laughing. Animals love having fun just as much as we do. As we started along the path again we saw a squirrel seemed to be following us. So of course we had to stop again and Kyle and Owen attempted to coax him over. Nope, off he ran. Then as we turned back towards the playground another squirrel was climbing down the fence onto the golf course side. The boys loved that he was so close and walked right up to the fence. The squirrel didn't seem shy. Rather he seemed to tease with his jutting about and inching in to get a closer look himself. It was remarkable how this squirrel seemed to want to make friends. The boys couldn't wait to tell their sister all about it. I'm just glad I got a decent photo of them hanging out with this friendly little dude.

Later the boys were chasing after one another on the playground just as we had seen the squirrels doing.

It's the little things, really. Happiness is all around us even when there's a moment of chaos or trauma, As in the case of the boys pictured playing above, just minutes later one hit the other and we had to leave the playground and clean up a bloody nose. Yes, while that was not fun to deal with, what I choose to file away in my memory box are the moments that made me smile.