Cradled high in a crook on my front porch, nests are built and families are hatched. I stalk the nests and peer in to keep tabs on what type of bird, how many eggs, delight watching them hatch and eventually fly on their own.
This week a new family is just waiting to hatch and I peered in the nest finding this….
After some inquiry on Instagram and help from some Facebook friends, it has been determined that a Cowbird has an offspring intrusion. Its common for these birds to watch the building of another nest and wait for the mother to lay her eggs. Once she has left the nest for a little while, the Cowbird comes in and lays one of her own. She then abandons it to allow the other bird to do her hatching. The baby Cowbird will often knock the other babies out of the nest. Also if you remove the Cowbird egg from the nest and the mother Cowbird is around, she will come back and destroy the nest.
I asked for a little advice and was told everything from remove the egg to hatch the egg myself.
I am agonizing!!
I don’t want to remove the egg because maybe its about ready to hatch and I am killing it.
I don’t want to remove the egg because I don’t want the Mother Cowbird to come avenging it’s removal.
I don’t want it to hatch and kick out the other babies.
I don’t want to take over rearing it because I am no bird mother and will likely kill it in my bird ignorance.
The only logical choice is to do as my husband suggested and just let nature take its course.
I watch as the mother bird comes and sits dutifully on her nest waiting for nature to hatch. She provides her warmth to egg that is not hers that will likely kill her own offspring. I want to intervene, but its not my place.
So many times in our lives scenarios present themselves that we have no control over or shouldn’t have the right to have control over. It’s agonizing to let go and let the inevitable happen. We want to step in and wave a magic wand producing a sunny outcome that we can live with. Sometimes life isn’t sunny. Sometimes your heart gets broken. Sometimes you get disappointed. Sometimes baby birds fall.
I have decided to rig up an umbrella like bottom around the nest. Nature will take its course, but if those babies should fall, it will be in a safe place where the mother can still take care of them without human contact.
That’s really all we can do when we allow nature to hatch and situations are out of our control. We hope and prepare a safe place to land.