Marlo took the kids on an evening stroll after dinner tonight. On their way back home, they came across two baby birds that had fallen out of their nest. At first they feared that the birds did not survive, but the tiny chicks started to move. The kids quickly called me to help rescue the birds.
With the help of my gardening tools, I moved one bird out of the grass into a cleared area, which was where its sibling had fallen.
Using his smartphone, Marlo searched “What to do with chicks that fall out of a nest” and found “A Guide To Assisting Wildlife Babies: What to do when you find them.” The article said to return the nestling birds to their nest, if possible. We looked up into the tree and discovered that the nest was turned upside down and dangling from a branch. Clearly, these birds could not be returned to their original home.
After reading the rest of the article, we decided to make a new nest. We felt we had to protect the birds from local cats, dogs, raccoons, oppossums, and other critters. I also did not think that the birds would be strong enough to fly away by the time the landscapers came back to take care of the lawn.
I poked some drainage holes into a plastic carry out food container. I also ran some pipe cleaners through the holes so the nest could be wired into the tree. Once that was complete, we lined the container with a paper towel, leaves, and dried grass. Using the aforementioned gardening tools, I gently placed the baby birds into the makeshift nest. Marlo used his ladder and secured the nest back into the tree as close to the original nest as possible.
While Marlo was up in the tree, I heard a strange noise that kept repeating over and over again. I searched the grass for another baby bird and realized that the noise was coming from up in the tree. It was the Momma Bird! She was calling to her babies. I think she even had bug in her mouth to feed her chicks.
As soon as the nest was safely in place, we all went inside the house to watch from the window. Sure enough, the Momma Bird reunited with her nestlings. We watched the mother bird fly back and forth to the new nest with food and other items for her babies.
We tried to use this experience to teach the kids the beauty of nature and the value of life. I think they were able to absorb some of the impromptu lesson, but they were very eager to look for worms and bugs to feed the baby birds. Since it was past their bedtime, I convinced the kids to let the Momma Bird take care of her babies from now on. I promised that we would check on them again tomorrow. It will be bittersweet when the baby birds are able to fly away on their own.