No Empty Nests Here
Starting with one birdhouse, a gift from my brother in Massachusetts, I was hooked. As soon as I had hung the box in the black cherry tree, a pert little chickadee claimed it, uttering that wonderful electric sound they make. I spent way too many hours watching the pair of chickadees cram nesting material into the house. Soon cheeping permeated the air, growing stronger each day. One morning, all was silent. The babies had flown the nest without even a thank you for all the high priced sunflower seeds I had put out.
I took the house down to clean it, easing the softness out of the overstuffed box, placing the nest in a clear, glass vase and adding it to the rest of my collection that lives on my mantle. (I like to put them into glass containers so they can be picked up and looked at, revealing the intricacies of the nest and the materials that were incorporated.) I discovered that chickadees are quite fond of Buddha's hair which I add to a wire basket after brushing him, along with bits and pieces of strings, ribbons, etc. for nest building. No sooner had I returned the house to its former location, than a pair of wrens claimed it for themselves. I made an emergency call to my brother - send more bird houses, fast!
I love the impermanence of a bird nest and the fragility. It's a good reminder of life.
- Bill Staines
And each night I am lulled to sleep by a lone, male mockingbird in the mimosa tree. I hope when he finds his love, they will nest in my yard.