junior's debut

That’s Mama, before Junior outgrew the nest

That’s the Mama before Junior outgrew the nest…”That is one dumb bird!” my wife declared.

“That’s one dumb bird!” my wife declared.

“Yeah, he’s crazy,” I nodded.

“Maybe he thinks it’s daylight?” My wife began to play detective as we sat on the back patio in the dead of summer after the sun had called it “a day”. We watched the crazy hummingbird fly into the hot lights, rest briefly in the palm tree by the house before flying around like a crazy bird until the geckos began to converge on him.

I love hummingbirds, they’re my favorite bird, we’ve had a more than our fair share over the years and I always get a kick out of seeing how curious and playful they are. A few days later I ventured out onto the patio in the sweltering daylight to continue our detective work… two and two were beginning to add up.

I searched the opposite side of the patio and finally spotted it; the nest. He was a she and in her nest that isn’t much bigger than a ping pong ball were two tiny eggs. The crazy bird was a mother protecting her own the best she could. She risked her life to detract us from where her babies rested unhatched in the home she’d built.

We fought shy of the patio to give the wee mama bird privacy and rest for the next couple of weeks. I wasn’t so sure the mother bird was much of a home builder and doubted if her construction methods could stand up to the Arizona monsoons. I’ll admit I worried a bit about the mother’s eggs and double checked them the morning after a storm… As crazy as it may sound, I said a prayer for those pesky birds.

The mother bird’s tiny home faired better than some of the trees in the neighborhood and I was truly thankful to find it intact early the next morning, and said a silent prayer of thanks for the seemingly slightest hand of God. A week or so after that, our oldest daughter who left the six foot step ladder permanently on the patio for her “bird’s eye view” of the process, discovered they’d hatched when one of the them was on the ground under the nest, dead.

We kept a close eye on Junior out the door of our bedroom and watched mama bird force feed the fast growing guzzler from about three feet away. It wasn’t long and Junior’s head and beak were well above the rim of the nest that he was fast outgrowing. Junior was a portly little fella and I began to wonder if he’d be too heavy to fly.

I found out the next day that wasn’t the case… I texted Kenz, “He’s flown the coop… Junior’s debut occurred… bitter sweet you might say.” In the midst of real life and all the stress and struggle that accompanies it, we find small blessings and treasures in the humblest of origins and settings. We just have to stop and watch the gifts before they pass…

Like the portly-little-squatty-body hummingbird named “Junior” who was born in our backyard and flew by as if to say “Hi!” as I penned this post on the back patio… That’s enough to make your heart sing…