Just a quick post as I’m moving out of my bird mode and in to my bush mode. I know that some of my readers can, off the top, relate with the title of this post.
Parenting is difficult!
I like to make observations of birds. I’m willing to patiently watch and be still. Like a prayer, this is what brings me a lot of peace these days. The practice of being still is something invaluable to a culture that values ‘busy’ so much.
These days, the old trees that grow and die at the edge of the river, are singing. There is life that emits from the boughs and trunks of trees. I don’t think a lot of people actually notice that. Even if you walk in your neighbourhood to the mailbox, lately, you will hear that the houses and trees of your own community are singing. The children need to be fed.
So, in looking up at one of the trees today, I observed a European Starling entering and exiting one of the big Elms growing at the river, over and over again. But, interestingly enough I saw her not only entering, with food, but exiting with poop. What? Really?
If you think about it, it makes sense. But, YUCK!! Can you imagine your growing family, shouting all day long from the inside of a crowded tree nest? Can you imagine that there is a lot of house keeping required of you, the adult? Wow!
This got me thinking about the intuitive selfless actions of parents for their offspring, it matters not the species.
At the House Wren nest, one adult remains very guarded of the nesting area while the other does the constant runs to try to silence the peeping worrying kids.
The Canada Geese lead goslings from one place to another, often tending other ‘people’s kids’, while a number of adults get a wee respite. This poor image does not even capture the wee buddies who spilled in off of that rocky shore shortly after the snapping of this photograph.
Vigilance is key during these days of raising young at the river. Magpies and Crows, Hawks of every variety, search the tall wood for untended nests. It is the way of nature. Keeping low to the earth and in the dried grasses of winter, the Mallards cast their eyes in the direction of the most subtle movements.
Mr. and Mrs. continue to work in tandem at the Bald Eagle Nest. The two youngsters continue to grow very quickly. Dad, of smaller stature seems to be doing more of the fishing and guarding from a distance than Mom. It was beautiful one day last week when the two of them took flight together, soaring on a perfect day, just above the nest.
I think in families sometimes, Moms and Dads find it hard to leave the kids alone for even the shortest while in order that they, too, can enjoy the world and its offerings.
Bless the Moms and Dads for the poop they take.