Welcome to the beginning of July in the year 2014. For those of you who have been waiting for it, please be patient. The bitchy blog posts about heat, humidity, and unbearable air temperatures during summer are coming. Just not yet. Hang in there!
But in all seriousness- let’s have a chat. Just you and I.
For those of you that have been paying attention, you know that there’s a nest full of barn swallows and right now is the time that these birds are being born and eggs are hatching.
Round two is happening currently as we speak for this year/season. The birds have hatched and they are just about ready to learn how to fly. I don’t know for sure whether or not we’ll have a third round of eggs. It is rare but has happened before.
But as with every year, there’s bird drama. And it happened yesterday evening when I heard a bunch of voices of children hanging around my front door.
One of the baby birds had accidentally fallen out of the nest and was on the ground. Its neck seemingly broken as it was able to twist it in ways humans can’t even dream of. But I don’t know for sure whether or not barn swallows have that same neck structure as say, an owl does. Able to turn it directly behind itself and look.
Whatever it was, it had caused one of the “bird parents” to come down from there nest and perch upon a shopping cart that got left on my patio area… watching its young struggle to move about. It had not yet learned how to fly at this point, so it was really at a poor disadvantage.
However if we have learned anything by having these birds come and build their nests is that you do not mess with the young. You do not touch any of the birds. And you must certainly do not touch any of the baby birds that may have fallen out of the nest. Its just nature happening. As sad as it may be.
A few summers ago, our maintenance guy decided to mess with the nest by flashing an LED light inside while the birds were sleeping. Maintenance was attacked viciously to the point where he became paranoid about birds if he had to come over to my home.
A social services coordinator attempted to lift a baby bird back into the nest because it had fallen out. That bird (even though was returned from the nest) was forced out of the nest again and landed on the ground and soon after that perished.
The lessons came quick. DO NOT TOUCH THE BIRDS. DO NOT INTERVENE WITH THE BIRDS. DO NOT HANDLE THE BIRDS.
Once a human being does that, then the adult birds stop caring for it and force it away where it actually is left to die.
Granted, barn swallows are not very large birds in size. But birds are birds. And to this day I do not know why they trust me, but they do. Enough to build their nests and enough to NOT attack me when I come out of my front door to do whatever it is that I need to do that day.
Usually the adult birds will just fly away, swoop around, and come back to the nest once I have cleared the area.
These children last night however, were hovering and circling around this one bird that unfortunately fell out of the nest. I warned the children not to touch the baby bird. I warned them to stay away from the baby bird because the adults would come after them.
I’ve seen it happen before. Birds will defend their own.
And instead of paying attention to me and listening, the oldest child of the group took off her jacket and wrapped the baby bird with the sleeve of the jacket and picked it up. The adult birds were flying back and forth in a super rage. It was horrible to watch. And it had to be terrifying for the birds to watch their young being picked up and carried away.
Since someone touched the bird, the adults left it alone. The kids took off with it but then minutes later came back with it and put it back on the same spot on the ground as they picked it up. But it was too late. The adult birds already abandoned it.
So this morning, I find the adult birds still perched lower to the ground, but the baby bird was on the ground and had not survived.
And to think that this bird would have had a fighting chance as it struggled to move. Just a crash course in learning how to fly and it would have lived and been okay and probably in the future, been something that laid its own eggs.
Again human nature got in the way and spoiled everything for this winged baby. Sealing its doomed fate.
As difficult as it may be for some adults, we’ve got to learn to leave animals alone. Even while the animals are “in their hour of need.”
If the young of an animal will be abandoned if interfered with by humans, then yes – just leave them alone and hope and pray for the best.