For the past few weeks, every time my cats decided to sunbathe on the deck on their favorite chair or glider, a Mockingbird would fly down and perch about a foot from them, giving them a warning round of chirps. The bird was pretty intense andthe cats just laid their ears back and took the abuse.  I knew there was a nest nearby and the cats were getting warned.


Today, it happened.  I don’t know where the nest is, but the babies all appeared in my yard, four of them, flopping their short wings in an attempt to fly.  When I stepped outside, the mother was watching overhead, trying to help them as she could.  The first two I saw were by the fence, hopping and flapping.  This one finally made it down the yard, through the fence and up to a branch about a foot off the ground in the yard next door where my dogs can’t get it.

DSC_0025The second one hopped in the opposite direction and made it along the fence where a puppy was following it with its own baby curiosity.  It went through the fence into another yard where there was no dog, thank goodness.  But now the mother had two babies in different directions.  My own mom instincts were pretty high as I attempted to reassure her that I was trying to help herd them.  I couldn’t think where they could go where there was no danger.

Two more appeared.  I still don’t know where the nest is.  This one headed for the fence by the puppy and they stared at each other for a bit until I herded it away.  It flew at me, came up two steps of the deck and fell under the deck.  I guess it’s hopping around still.

DSC_0028The next one flopped around, heading for the deck and stopped to pose.  DSC_0034DSC_0037All I can think is that they are too young to leave the nest.  Their heads are covered in fuzz, their wings are too short.  There is too much danger lurking right here in my yard, much less the rest of the neighborhood. The mother is now looking at me and getting puffed up.  I understand that completely.DSC_0031DSC_0032You can’t imagine how much I relate.  I had four kids and they went in all directions.  Not on the same day, thank goodness.  I’m picturing the mother bird’s day, flying from yard to yard, trying to oversee their first day on their own, maybe even feeding them if they haven’t figured that out yet.

All those emotions are coming back to me, watching my bird counterpart out there.  My oldest grandson leaves for college next year.  I don’t know if he’s ready, even though his wings are definitely long enough.  But there’s all that danger out there, all those unknowns.  Even knowing you can’t protect them forever and they have to get out from under their mother’s wing sooner rather than later, it’s stressful for moms.  And dads.  And grandparents.

It’s nature’s way for our young to leave the nest.  They may fall out too soon, they may be adventurous and fly out on their own, or they may get kicked out.  We’re all in this together, birds, animals, humans of all races and ethnicities.  We all want our babies to survive and fly.  And soar.