I saved a life today… in fact it was two little lives and the sparing of another. You see but for a bit of awareness and a lot of patience and determination, our beautiful world would have been a little less full.
It all started last Autumn/Fall when I took the decision to remove the rusted top from our outdoor wood burner. A hole in the top meant that it was past it’s sell by date. I set it to the side thinking that I might use it as a garden feature of sorts. In the meantime it would stop the gate from banging in the wind.
Now fast forward to spring and we discover a family of Great Tit’s (small chickadee type birds) has decided that it was actually prime real estate. Unfortunately it was right at the bottom of some steps leading to our back garden so I waited for the parent birds to leave and moved it to the other side of the fence for safety.
As luck would have it we have been experiencing a heat wave here in Ireland, lucky for us, but not the birds who were now baking in a cast iron chimney. Again I waited for the parents to leave before placing it in the shade for there survival.
Each time that the nest has changed position the parent birds looked to be in a state of confusion but accepted the changes none the less.
Each day we watched the birds come and go, and eventually we heard the chirping of little mouths from within.
But once again danger was just around the corner for my feathered friends as our dog also began to notice the coming and goings.
I heard his excited bark and knew something was happening so ran outside. Alas it was too late as he had already trailed the nest across the garden and there lay two dead chicks. I knew that there were five chicks in the nest so hurriedly put the nest back together and searched for them. I noticed movement under the fence and sure enough it was a little chick. I quickly dropped him back into the nest and blocked it off from the dog.
No sign of the other two and the parent birds seemed to be in a state of shock.
I was sure that they would abandon the nest but was happily proved wrong. I watched for around 45 mins hopping that if any other chick was hiding in the bushes, the parent birds would find them. And sure enough I noticed the parent bird focusing on a section of ground under a bush.
I moved in and a second chick was found huddled in fear. As I popped him in with his sibling the parent birds looked on in more confusion.
This week I watched the two chicks leave the nest of their own accord.
So there we go. Two lives saved and one dog spared a kicking, for he was only doing what was natural to him.
As was I.
(The cover shot is of a Bald Eagle I saw in Co.Louth earlier in the week at a birds of prey exhibition).