The other day a sad thing happened that I wasn’t prepared for so soon. To my utter dismay, my feathered charges abruptly left the nest. Though I knew this day of their departure was coming, I hadn’t expected the shocking way my little sparrows finally left the nest. And even stranger was how my new adopted bird family left only hours earlier that stayed in my memory because it shocked me.
Since the little sparrow moved her family’s home to my tomato container, I made it my mission to check on my new bird tenants several times a day. I made breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack runs to their makeshift mud twig nest and would leave bread or moistened crackers. I know they were too little to eat this, but there was the mother sparrow. Every time that I did leave the food, it would vanish the next time that I checked.
After all the rain that we kept having, my tomato plant in the container they were nesting was dying. I didn’t want it to die and cause them to move so I pulled out some of the dead leaves. I noticed their makeshift nest was suffering so I did what I could to reinforce their shelter. I added some extra green leaves and twigs for cover to make up for what I had to take off.
The sparrows seemed to appreciate a reinforced nest from the weather. Every time that I peeked in, I noticed the feathered youngsters sensing my presence. They started moving closer to the front of this makeshift mud and twig nest instead of remaining clustered together in the back.
I went from seeing these bird youngsters just opening their mouths to gazing at them staring back at me when I made a food run to their nest. I watched the colors of their feathers go from black to a light brown in such a short span of time that still astounds me.
I peered into the opening of their makeshift mud twig nest and was close enough to touch one of them. My little sparrow babies just continued gazing at me with their innocent brown eyes. Little did I know what they were planning only a few hours later.
My mother never had the opportunity to see my little sparrows opening their mouths or eyes yet. Therefore, I had her come and see them up close. She peered in, but they moved their position inside to block her view.
I didn’t think much of my little sparrows being so standoffish. Yet, my feathered babies didn’t appreciate another human head staring at them from what I gathered later.
On the final morning I had my bird tenants, I left them a moistened cracker breakfast just like I have been doing several times a day. Well, their nest was empty. Instead, I heard the loudest chorus of bird chirping aimed at me. When I say loud, I mean angry squawks from two full-grown sparrows (obviously both parents) now and a few silent tinier sparrow onlookers perched in the branches of my apple tree.
From their incessant and sharp squawking that went on for about ten minutes if you can believe it, I could tell that I was being scolded for sharing their secluded nesting place with another human.
Little ingenious sparrow and her family never came back to finish that final breakfast. I don’t know where my adopted feathered family moved to, but it feels so lonely without stopping by to check in on them every day.
Seriously, I knew these sparrows wouldn’t be staying in my tomato container very much longer. But the shocking way my sparrows left the nest still doesn’t hurt less from missing them.