Around here, we have a rather intimate view of the lives of the birds we share our yard with. We witness the jealous sparring of the chickadees, playful flights of the blue jayes, romantic strolls of the geese couple who roost with us every year, and even the exhibitionist habits of the robins who mate on our fence post. Spring advances and the nest building begins as the expectant parents prepare for their broods. The morning dove nests in the eave over our screened porch, the oriole builds its amazing hanging nest in the birch by our front door, and the blue jaye takes up residence in the bush by my studio window. Day by day, we wake to a whole new family that’s ventured into the world. We count heads of hatchlings of all sorts and listen with amusement to their morning symphony of peeps and chirps—which I may feel is just squawking if I haven’t yet had enough coffee— and worry over them all staying safe from the foxes and hawks, and even negligent new parents. — They mean well.
As the season passes, and fledglings have enough of their hovering parents and advance into a world of their own, we start to find abandoned nests blown across the yard or fallen on a trail. We collect them and marvel at the skill and craft that went into the building these ephemeral homes, these little snapshots of other creatures lives—and of ours, too. It’s a wonder to see the imprint our life has made. There are nests lined with hair from our dogs and those that are carefully woven confections of grass and stray pieces of shredded packing material that escaped the recycling bin. My favorites are the ones that include little bits of ribbon or yarn from my work. I suppose I can share my creative inspirations with them. I’m in good company.