Monday, September 16, 2013

It's For The Birds

This Spring we had a pair of barn swallows build a nest right on our front porch.  We had fun watching the process of them building their new home together.
Soon there were eggs and, not long after, I heard a faint chirping noise coming from the nest.  There were four fuzzy little babies in the nest.
Every time we walked out on the porch, the mama bird (who was always nearby in the yard) would fly at us and give us a good telling-off.  When mama bird got upset then papa bird was never long to follow and when he arrived he really let us have it.
As the babies got bigger they became more curious and would stick their heads over the edge of the nest to look at us.  This really upset mama bird and she would land on the babies and stuff them back down in the nest.  

We watched the babies grow until the day came that there was a huge ruckus on the front porch.  
We noticed a whole flock of barn swallows had taken over the front yard.  The birds would get into formation and fly circles around the yard making a sweep through the porch and past the nest where the young birds were.
All the young birds were perched on the edge of the nest, flexing their wings and almost jumping with excitement.  As the adults flew past the nest, the older birds would chirp loudly to young birds (hence the commotion we heard from the house).
I thought it was so interesting that when it was time for the young birds to leave the nest, the whole flock came to encourage them and show them what to do.  
We watched for a while but never did get to see the young birds take their jump from the nest.
The next morning we went out to find an empty nest.  The young birds had gone.  It was a rather sad feeling.
Later that day as we were working outside I noticed the flock of swallows diving and swooping around in the yard. (It is really nice to have a flock of these birds around, they keep our mosquito population way down.)
I looked a little closer and noticed four birds that were much smaller than the rest of the birds.
There were the babies!
They didn't swoop and dive quite so crazy as the adult birds but they were getting the hang of it.  I stopped and watched as they glided around trying to follow the adults, learning the skills they needed to be the birds they were meant to be.
It has been a cool experience to watch the process of life with these birds.  God is good.  He is always mindful of us.  He teaches us in so many ways. Having these birds at our house this Summer was just what I needed to help me with some of the lessons that I am learning.

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