The Horrors of Motherhood

When I looked out the window Saturday morning, I was horrified. I wanted to make sure the baby birds who recently hatched just out side our window were doing well.

They were not. Two of the babies, who didn’t even have all their feathers, were hanging upside down out of the nest. Their tiny feet were tied together and they dangled midair on a shining piece of silver Christmas tinsel. They looked as though they had been taken hostage and were being tortured by deranged elves.

I started yelling at Lexie to come look and she gasped. It was a shocking sight.

“I’ll go get them, I don’t even know if they are still alive,” I said as I pulled on my  shoes.

“No mom, you can’t interfere. It’s nature, you can’t do that.”

“What the hell are you talking about? Of course I have to get them. This isn’t the Star ship Enterprise or Star Wars. I don’t have to follow the Prime Directive. They are hanging upside down.’

Lex watched as I stood on two cinder blocks and cupped both birds in one hand then pulled the silver tinsel out of the nest. They were so horribly tangled there was no way I could free them quickly, but they were still alive, barely.

Once inside I put them on a cloth and Lexie worked to untangle their tiny claws for almost fifteen minutes. Once freed, both babies started chirping. I’m pretty sure they were saying, “Thank you Diana, you are so awesome.”

Sandor helped me climb back up on the cinder blocks and stuff them back into their cramped nest.  There were two more babies in there waiting for  momma. When our cat started lurking around, Sandor snatched her up and flung her threw the open bedroom window at Lexie.

I didn’t know if the momma would come back. But she did, almost instantly. And all the babies opened up their cavernous beaks instantly.  Their heads seemed to expand to twice their size, it was freaky.  As soon as she brought them a bug or two, they all looked just fine.

Twenty minutes later I looked out the window again. One of the babies was on the ground, hopping and chirping and our cat, who doesn’t actually have a name, was just ten feet away.  Again, I started screaming for Lexie to get out to the nest.

Mean while I did what I could to distract or scare the cat. When Lex rounded the corner she started laughing so hard she turned red. Momma bird was dive bombing the cat and I was leaning as far out the window as I possble could swinging our clock radio her evrytime she moved toward the bird.

Finally, Lex got between the cat and the fallen bird. I reeled in my clock.

We stuffed the baby back in the next then put an inflatable raft under the nest to break any further falls. Again, the mother came right back with fresh bugs and worms.

I grew up hearing that theory about momma birds abandoning their babies after human contact. What a bunch of bull. Good moms are way to tenacious and dedicated to let grubby human hands break up her family.

It’s been two days since our harrowing baby bird rescue. I checked on them this morning and everything appeared to be just fine, though our raft is now covered with bird poop.