Ok, this is one you kind of had to be there for –
We have a tile roof that houses
Three to four nests of baby finches each year .
Last month, you could see the parents
Crawling in and out of the downspout,
Going to and from their hidden nest.
One morning at about 6, I was walking across the patio.
I stepped on something squishy in my bare feet
I thought it was a snail,
But in my sleepiness, didn’t recall
That we don’t have snails here.
Nevertheless, I scraped my foot on the iron work,
Walked across the patio, coffee in hand,
To crawl back in bed and read a while.
Several hours later, our neighbor’s cat Micho
Comes sneaking along the walkway,
I shoo him up the stairs,
Only to find him 10 minutes later
Hovering over the tiles where the nest was.
I threw a glass of water and he slunk away.
When I looked down, a newly hatched bird
Lie dead at my feet on the patio floor.
It is then that I realize that the parents,
Probably in an attempt to save the baby from the cat,
Moved and dropped it while flying away.
Then I realized the snail I stepped on
Was another baby bird. Sure enough.
Weeks later now, today is the day
The parents shooed the two remaining fledglings
From the nest and into the world.
One took off and flew all over.
The other, was a little shaken up,
Sat comatose like on the floor,
Feathers, sticking out all over,
Missing a a few on the top of his head.
A scruffy little thing too tired to be afraid of us
As we came near to see if he was ok.
We noticed him sitting on the back of the bench
Then he dropped to the floor of the patio,
And sat for an hour, unable to move.
This becomes the focus of our morning.
Is he strong enough to fly?
Will he want to fly?
Where are the parents?
Maybe he’s hungry.
Or just not developed enough to make it.
As the morning passes,
We both wonder about getting a cage,
Feeding him and letting him go when he is strong.
We scrap this idea for the next one
Which is, let nature take it’s course.
Then we get a long stick, hoping he will hop on,
And take a little ride on the stick back up to the nest,
Where his parents can care for him.
The whole time I am thinking
If Micho comes around hunting today
I’m going to throw pepper water on him.
Lucky for him, he stays away.
I hold the stick so he can hop on
He cooperates, rocking back and forth,
Attempts to fly and gets caught in the ironwork
That is hidden behind the bamboo.
I get him to hop back on the stick, and am able
To carefully maneuver the steps
To get him up into the downspout
Where he climbs on up to his nest.
Not more than 15 minutes later,
He is on the patio floor.
Now we wonder if the parents have abandoned him.
He sits another hour or so,
Moving around the patio in little leaps,
From the bench,
To the top of the bench,
Then to the bamboo pot,
A longer rest,
Then back to the bench.
Finally, at about 3pm
He takes to my stick again,
Gets himself up the downspout and into his nest,
Where the parents fly in with food.
This is good news.
We haven’t heard a peep since.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings
For our little friend.
Here ‘s a little movie of his little adventure with us
The happy ending to the story –
Up at the top of the tiles,
Above their nest this morning,
Mama, papa and baby bird
Enjoying the sunlight