Of all the places available in this great wide world, a pair of silly wrens kept landing in our bedroom window. Frequently. Starting shortly after sunrise and continuing throughout the day. After many consecutive days of chasing off these fluttering, chirping, unwelcome alarm clocks, we finally realized they were attempting to build a nest on the ledge between the window frame and our window-unit air conditioner. Instead of the available trees located a few feet from said window. Go figure.
Our first idea was to put a piece of aluminum foil on either side of the air conditioner, thinking it would frighten off Mr. & Mrs. Wren. Wrong. The same scratching sounds woke us bright and early the morning after; John found the foil lying wholly intact on the deck below, as though it had been carefully placed there. Not to be outdone, we decided to wrap the foil around a small landscaping stone and prop it in their desired space. Once again, rustling and tweeting noises greeted us at daybreak. I walked to the side of the house and noticed a few haphazard twigs and pieces of pine straw sticking out at odd angles around the rock. Finally John cut a piece of lumber to size and nailed it over the opening. There was no way the duo could continue their construction project with it there, so I thought woo-hoo! We have prevailed in this war of wills…
Right. The next day I went upstairs to put away laundry and heard the faintest sound: peep… peep… peep… I confirmed the opening was covered and went back about my business. Several hours later, I returned to my bedroom and Silly was sitting in the Sphinx position below the air conditioner… Cheep… Cheep… Either I’d lost my mind or a bird was in the window.
I asked John to temporarily remove the board; I wanted to be absolutely sure the wrens hadn’t somehow wormed their way into the tiny space. He came back inside looking shocked.
“There are two babies in the windowsill. I left the board off so the mother can come back.”
“I didn’t think there was a nest? Exactly how much straw was up there?”
“Evidently enough for her to lay a couple of eggs behind the rock; I didn’t see them when I closed it up.”
By late afternoon, nothing. After weeks of being annoyingly present, Mr. & Mrs. Wren had gone MIA. I did a quick internet search and we decided to feed the babies sugar water to try and keep them alive. I drove to Walgreens, asked the pharmacist for several sizes of medicine droppers, came home, and mixed up a batch of simple syrup. John scaled the ladder and tended to the tiny creatures. They were scrawny, little more than a scrap of skin, being mostly neck and gaping mouth… Watching my husband tenderly care for them was heartbreakingly beautiful… We decided to leave them alone overnight, still hoping one or both parents would return.
The next morning when I awoke, John had already left the house. I went out to check on the babies… The ladder was gone… The window was bare…
I called John…he gave me the news. The baby birds died during the night; he buried them shortly after he got up so the rest of us wouldn’t have to see them.
We’ve all cried a few tears over the loss of these newborn songbirds. I’ve gone over the whole sequence of events of the last few weeks; I don’t know why the wrens insisted on nesting there.
After several days of reflection, I’ve finally figured out maybe He has a lesson in all of this for me.
As parents, we do all we can to create a safe home and environment in which to raise our families; despite our efforts and vigilance, sometimes circumstances arise that are beyond our control. We cannot protect our children from every possible danger in this world… We do the best we can and things may still go wrong.
We have to learn how to forgive ourselves for our role in those failures, whether real or imagined.
What happened with these little birds will be a pretty good place for me to start…
Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg
Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays. -- Jen, site administrator