Reub's journey

26 July 2016

Victory


There is so much awful spectacle in the wider world right now that I dread looking at the news in the morning. The tiny drama of nearby life is a different matter though.


The littlest things are riveting. Like this handful of dead grass that I imagine is a fallen nest near the front door three days ago.



I walk over to pick it up.


But just when I reach down, a small bird scrambles out.


Chit, chit, chit...this little bird, an Oregon junco, energetically scolds me. There is, after all, no neglected and fallen nest, but a home built on the ground and inhabited, thank you very much. Back off.



For the next 24 hours I try unsuccessfully to catch a glimpse of what is inside that nest, but it is always covered by its funny bird-made grass tarp.



And then yesterday, mama left the nest slightly uncovered. Three perfect little speckled eggs.
  All the bad headlines in the world can't destroy my delight.





But quickly I am gripped with fear.
What were they thinking anyway? Are these inexperienced bird parents? Situated on top of shallow green ground cover, this is not the well-disguised nest described in the bird book. It screams NEST NEST NEST to any hungry predator. There is a growing brood of crow babies down the street and I fear that they will soon feast upon junco eggs. My junco eggs. So John puts up a screen, sort of, to allay my fears. He says it is inspired by architect Frank Gehry, and I suppose it is.


This afternoon there is news. And again it is the very best kind of news: three tiny babies. They are little more than naked beating hearts lying in a bed of soft grass and moss. They are the most vulnerable thing I have ever seen. Will they survive? I don't know. But they are now 12 hours old, and in this world that is a victory all by itself.



20 comments:

  1. YES!!!!!!! I have been revelling in the same: the smaller dramas being played out nearby. Last night it was a cloud of dragonflies, the whinny of a screech owl, and maybe, MAYBE we think a mink...yowza, so much better than world drama just now.

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    1. A mink!! What does a mink sound like?

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  2. Peeking out into the real world can be scary right now, so your little outing proved much more fun I'm sure.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. The real world intrudes upon my days more than I would like it to.

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  3. That is a phenomenal challenge. We have raccoons, fox and snakes that all would easily eat the babies in this nest. What was that junco thinking?

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    1. Right? Juncoes usually nest on the ground, but they really shouldn't be so obvious about it. I am glad, at least, that the neighbors keep their cats indoors. Right now there aren't any raccoon families in the immediate neighborhood, but there are coyotes.

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  4. awwww, there are so many, maybe 3, things to be happy about!!! now let us hope they make it out alive, it seems a silly place to build a nest!!!

    i stay away from the news, i read blogs, happy news...

    i have many nests around here and we have had too many babies to count. this is a "reproducing" place ;)

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    1. We have nesting birds all over too, and I'm usually frustrated in trying to locate them. I wish I could find a hummingbird nest.

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  5. What a wonderful discovery! I hope those baby birds make it. You'll have to post some updates.

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    1. Thanks Linda. This morning they're still alive. Will try to take more pictures. :-)

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  6. so sweet! I spotted several nests this year and spied eggs but the only one I could get pictures of was the bluebirds earlier in the year. I was so nosy though that they will probably nest in that box again. thanks for the good news.

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    1. Your bluebirds were mighty sweet.I'm trying not to be too intrusive, but it's hard!

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  7. I would never imagine a bird's nest on the ground but if I ever find one you can be sure I will put up a screen. Brilliant idea and will be so interested to hear a follow up on the baby birds.

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    1. It seems like the worst place to put a nest, doesn't it? Juncos and song sparrows, towhees and quail and turkeys all do it though. Waterbirds too. Geesh.

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  8. Reminds me of two little fluffball turkey vultures staff recently came across at Bald Hill Farm - just little itty bitty poofs of white fluff walking around. "What are you doing here?" we asked, "out in the open where anything can get you!" (alas, no reply).

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    1. Sigh. Yes, so vulnerable. And sadly something did get these little babies by the time they were 48 hours old. :( The screen was easy enough to get around for a hungry predator.
      Still, I celebrate their short life.

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  9. That is wonderful! We discovered a nest and egg in a trash can, so we left it alone, but alas, the egg is still there after a few weeks. I don't think it's going to make it. I'm glad yours did!

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    1. The likelihood of these little guys making it is SO SMALL. Still it's a thrill to find an egg.

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