The little things

Sometime, it’s the smaller miracles that inspire me: those thing that have repeated countless times over millions of years we take for granted, or overlook altogether.

Every year, atop one of the sconces at our front door, a mother bird builds another nest. We have no idea if it is the same bird, or one of the chicks returning, but we take comfort in knowing our home is theirs.

The first thing that strikes us is the construction. This is no slipshod array of twigs. Lacking both hands and tools, this pair creates a tight symmetrical shape in less than a week. The ragged structure below the upper ovoid is last year’s nest which my wife insisted we leave. She wanted to see if they’d use it again but, no, they prefer a clean new home for this year’s family.

A week after I spotted the eggs, three tiny hatchlings appeared: pink with blood, their eyes, dark orbs beneath transparent lids. So tiny, I marveled how she could get nourishment into them.

Another week passed and they were big enough to look over the lip.

By the following weekend they barely fit.

I have nothing to show for the weekend after. They have grown so much they fly away when I come by and by now resemble their parents so much. I have to pause a minute to be sure who I’m looking at.

I no longer complain how time flies and only wish I could.



4 responses to “The little things

  1. Omigosh, Raymond! What wonderful pictures. Any idea what kind of birds they are?

    • Sorry to take so long to get back to you: long day at work.

      After consulting Birds of New Mexico by Stan Tekeila, they appear to be Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi): 8 1/2″, all grey robin look-alike. Song is a series of clear flute-like whistles without a distinct pattern. 🙂

  2. What a great post! Thanks Ray!

  3. By the way: don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but if you click on any of the images—except for the topmost-—you get a larger one. The first one of the newly-hatched provides a really good look at a day or two old chick.

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