One of life’s Golden Rule’s I like to adhere to is: Don’t interfere with nature. It’s always served me and is completely common sense. Well, I found myself violating this rule when I came face to face with a fledgling, one I’d been watching for days, trying to hide under a small fern.
Baby Blue Tits were nesting in a bird box in my yard and I had been watching their heads poking out of the nest for a couple of days – knowing they were growing and getting ready to fledge. Below was the first one to leave the nest!
It must have been day 19 – the amount of days from birth to fledge for the Blue Tit – I knew it was close. At first, I hadn’t realized at least one chick had already left the nest. It wasn’t until I saw the parents acting differently that I realized they started to fledge. Later on that evening, I saw a very small bird hopping across the yard, moving towards a small fern. I thought – Oh my Gosh – it must be one of my babies who has fallen from the box, it can’t even fly!! This is the one below:
The neighbor’s cat is going to kill it!!
I have to put this baby bird back in it’s box so it will be safe until it can fly!
I thought: if I put on some gloves, I can scoop it up and place it back in the box. If it tries to fly off – I’ll leave it there, if it let’s me scoop it up – I’ll place it back. So I went over to it with gloves on and was able to scoop it up. I placed it back in the bird box. It went in ok and I noticed at least one other bird in the box so I felt like it would be safe over night and the parents would be back to feed it.
I had peace of mind that the bird would be safe from the cat.
However, later I read that baby Blue Tits fledge before they can fly! They stay on the ground for a couple of days, strengthening their flight feathers. Oh my God – I interfered with this baby bird’s process!! I felt horrible. I broke nature’s Golden Rule.
I quickly apologized to the baby bird, it’s parents and to Mother Nature!
The next morning I could see there were two other smaller babies in the nest with the one I returned. After watching them for a few hours, I saw my bird fly out of the box into a nearby tree! I felt so relieved and could see it would be safe from the cat now because it could fly!
I thought, why did I put myself through this experience? The message I received was: Fear not! You can leave the nest before you even know you can fly! Watch the baby birds – they have the instinct to leave the nest before their flight wings are ready!
So all turned out well – but I will not violate the Golden Rule anytime soon! I had just written a post about how humans are wired to care and nature is wired for survival – well, I just lived my own post!