Lessons From Birdie

17 May

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”  Maya Angelou

A couple of weeks ago I gave you a little glimpse of something exciting that was happening in my backyard.  I woke up one morning and saw a mama American Robin building a nest outside my kitchen window.  I was so amazed at the materials that the bird was able to find and use to construct a secure home for her soon-to-be babies!  There was even a piece of tattered clothing in the mix of string, grass, weeds, mud and twigs.

The mama, Birdie is what I called her, worked so diligently on that nest for a couple of days.  Then about the time it was complete a storm started brewing in the sky.  The rain fell and the wind was strong.  I was heartbroken to see Birdie’s nest being shredded– pieces of it were hanging off, some of the nest was completely down on the ground and being carried away by the wind.  After some time the storm calmed and within no time at all, Birdie had rebuilt her nest!  This time it was bigger and stronger than before!

For the next couple of days Birdie sat and sat and sat in that nest.  Finally one day I caught a moment when she was away so I could snap a picture to see what was in that nest.

Huh! I literally gasped when I saw this egg.  I was hoping to see one, but then to actually SEE one really took my breath away.  The color is just remarkable.

Note:  The nest was built on top of our spotlight right outside our back door.  To capture these pictures I had to stick my arm outside the door up high and just snap the camera hoping to get a decent picture.  I was extremely careful not to touch or disturb the nest.

I was so eager to learn about Birdie and the characteristics of American Robins so I became very familiar with this website, American Robin Journey North.  I even listed Birdie on the sighting!  After reading some of the FAQs on the site, I learned that normally Robins lay 3 to 4 eggs…Soooooo, I waited a couple of days and then found an opportunity to go check the status of Birdie’s eggs.

Oh my goodness!  OH MY GOODNESS!  Three eggs!  Three beautiful, perfect robin blue eggs.  When I saw those three eggs on my camera screen my heart was beating so fast.  That day I kept finding excuses to go into the kitchen and pass by the window.  Everybody that stopped by my house got the whole story of Birdie and her three eggs and they were taken to my window and made to look out at the nest.

That evening I happened to catch the weather on our local news channel.  We were under severe thunderstorm warnings for the early hours of the next day.  I felt my heart drop a bit.  I was worried about Birdie and her nest holding up.  I prayed.  I asked God to protect them.  I asked Him to strengthen Birdie.

At 4AM the next morning, I was awakened by the thunderstorm.  A thunderstorm complete with high winds, heavy rainfall, lightening and of course, thunder.  I jumped out of bed and immediately went to the window to check on my little family.  Birdie was tightly snuggled up in her nest with her eggs safely tucked under her.  God heard my petition.  At sunrise I was able to capture this picture from my kitchen window.

There were some scraggly pieces hanging down from the nest, but all-in-all it was secure.  Birdie just sat and sat and sat through the rain.  Many of you probably already know that for a few days we had severe weather consisting of heavy rainfall, tornadoes and thunderstorms.  Birdie and her family stayed secure through all of it!

For several hours a day, Birdie sat on her eggs.  After around fourteen days I knew that something should be hatching out of those eggs.  I had to wait until the coast was clear to go get a peek.  This time it was far more dangerous on my part.  Birdie and the male Robin (I just called him the daddy) stayed close by and any time any intruder came near, they were ready to attack.  I had about a five second window of time to stick my arm out the door and press the button on my camera before one of the parents would come charging towards me.

Newborn birds aren’t very cute.  But it doesn’t take them long at all to start plumping up and growing feathers.  They eat a diet rich in worms, berries and other invertebrates.  They eat sooooooo many times a day.  For hours and hours the male and female adult birds take turns going out to get food for the babies.  This was fascinating to watch.  At this point I was so attached to this little family that I would sit at my kitchen window for long periods of time, several times a day and just watch them at work.  It was impossible for me to go outside to get a picture of them,  Birdie and the daddy didn’t show any mercy towards any one or any thing that came near that nest.  When either Birdie or the daddy arrived at the nest with food, the babies stretched their heads up high to receive their meal.

Time went on, I was counting the days and I knew that the day that they would leave was coming soon.  They were getting stronger and bigger and the nest was getting crowded.  I knew they would be leaving the nest any day now when I saw this:

Look how big and cute they have gotten in just about fifteen days!  This was taken the morning of Mother’s Day.  The next morning I found an empty nest.  There was no sign of Birdie, the daddy or the babies around.  Just an empty nest.

I have to tell you, I was sad.  I cried.  Not only was I attached to this cute family, but I had closely watched them for weeks and in those weeks I learned much about motherhood and the provision of our Heavenly Father.

“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I am free.  His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” Civilla D. Martin


11 Responses to “Lessons From Birdie”

  1. cvalentino May 17, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    How sweet! And robin’s egg blue is one of my very favorite colors! Every year little tiny birds build a nest in the hanging ferns on our covered porch. I have to check and make sure I know which one it is so I don’t drown them when I water the ferns. The very day that our ferns were hung this year the birds built their nest. They must’ve been patiently waiting for them! That was just a month or so ago and there’s already ugly little babies with big open mouths in there!

  2. Jill Denton May 17, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Oh man, that’s so cute that they are nesting in your fern every year! I left that nest up on our light, hoping that maybe one of them will return. I read that some times they do that.

  3. Misty May 17, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Happy sad! I am so glad I got to share a little of this with you and tuck & Matthew.
    It was amazing!
    I have a few little tears … We will all have empty nest someday…

  4. Shannon May 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Just precious!!! Thank you for sharing this with so many. God is amazing!!! I have tears in my eyes and am overcome with Joy knowing that He protects even little “Birdies”!!!

  5. Auntie Zoo May 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    What a heartwarming tale! Those eggs are the color you would paint on one of your walls, Jill Mam!!! Just think, one of Birdie’s kids might come back to use that nest next year!!! How fun!!! love U! AS

  6. sarah May 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    I was very touched by this story of a mother’s love and God’s love for all His creatures. It was especially sweet how Mrs. Birdie sat through the rain to protect her little ones. It’s such a close comparison to how human mothers provide and protect their young. And their baby daddy (haha) was great also. What an exciting experience for you. I pray you’ll fill a spot in your nest soon! :)

  7. Melissa Pennington May 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Awww! Your story made ME cry! So sweet

  8. KCC! May 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    I loved getting to see the little bird family in person and I absolutely loved reading this story! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. brenda moreland May 18, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Natures takes my breath away also, thanks for sharing.

  10. Jill Denton May 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks y’all for reading this story!


  1. This Ain’t Monkey Business « Inside Out - May 23, 2011

    […] off, guess who’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack?!?  Birdie has returned to the nest!  She has been spotted four times over the last couple of days.  Hmmmm, […]

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