We tried.







Oh, how we tried.

Visiting a farm this weekend we set out to explore. Down by the barn Pete and the kids heard a faint peeping coming from the grass. A baby bird! Helpless and hungry, we quickly searched for the nest (we thought it had fallen and if we could find the nest we could return it to its family), then dug worms to plop into its gaping beak.

With some searching Pete found the nest behind a loose board and went went above and beyond (literally) to get that little one home.

Success! (Or so we thought.) Baby was tucked back into an awkwardly placed nest and we thought we were good.

It didn't occur to us until later that there was no easy access to the outside from the nest so the baby couldn't have fallen. That baby was ejected.

Fast forward to the next day. We returned to the same farm and Sage and Lupine ran to the barn. Again – peeping! The same baby (it had a scratch on its belly that we recognized) was again lying in the grass.

This time the kids ran for an empty robin's nest they had found and started digging worms.

We tried. Oh, how we tried.

But that mama bird who tossed the baby from that high nest – not once but twice – must have known something we didn't. Within 12 hours, despite our frequent feedings, the baby grew weak and we found a quiet place for it to die.

It was hard for Sage.

Very hard.

And for me too. We tried our best and it didn't work. The baby was destined to die despite our efforts.

And yet looking back maybe it did work, though not how we had planned.

We reached out to a helpless (and arguably ugly) little creature and did our best for him. We worked hard, and it was worth it – even though the outcome wasn't what we had wanted.

We felt the undeniable interconnections of all life, and also the inevitability of death and it's place in nature.

In less than two days that little bird taught us so much.

Safe journey tiny one. Safe journey.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

One quick aside before I go.

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8 thoughts on “We tried.

  1. Kim says:

    So sorry. We have experienced so much loss with our nests this year, predators have been invading them and taking either the eggs or the babies. It has been a difficult spring for my little man, hard lessons to learn.

  2. Dark Blue Dragon says:

    On a recent walk we witness a heron pluck a baby from its nest and swallow him down. A nature lesson, though not how I had intended. It is in these lessons we can teach so much. At least Sage and Lupine had gentle, caring parents to guide them through this.

  3. Dana says:

    That made me cry… I’m far too sensitive for my own good. So sweet that you tried so hard… I would have, too! 😉

  4. Karla says:

    I was always deeply affected when we found baby birds, bunnies, stray cats or dogs, that didn’t make it. Whenever one of our pets died I was crushed.

  5. Stacy says:

    This little bird could have been the victim of a Brown Headed Cowbird baby. Cowbirds are nest parasitizers, the mama lays her eggs in nests of other birds and a unsuspecting mama will sit on that egg along with her. After the eggs hatch the baby cowbird is usually bigger and stronger than the other babies in the nest. It outcompetes them for food and often will kick the other babies out of the nest. Sad, but it is just one of the ways Mother Nature works.

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    Intuitively I wondered that and asked Pete if the birds in the next looked like the one we had in hand. He said the one he could see was bigger, so your thought might just be true. Thanks for mentioning this. I had forgotten that the baby cowbirds eject nest mates… so fascinating. Thanks.

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