Mothers, Daughters, and Birds

Bird Eggs.jpg

In a disclaimer right up front, neither my mother, my daughter, nor I could claim to be “birders,” but that doesn’t keep us from being interested in them, especially mother birds which seem just right for my blog before Mother’s Day.

One morning when I was about six or seven, I busily gathered leaves, soon be turnip greens cooked in my empty tuna can pot, from a shrub for my make-believe family in the playhouse. Out of the blue (literally), I got whopped on the head by a bird and fled screaming to the house. 

Mama came running out with her pot holder still in her hand to tend to my disaster. After I explained the source of my terror, she invited me to sit on the step with her and watch the bush. In a few minutes, we saw a bird fly away. She held my hand as we returned to the bush and peeped inside. There in the middle was a bird’s nest with several babies chirping madly in birdtalk that I translated to, “More food. Right now.” 

Mama helped me understand that the mother bird meant me no harm but was protecting her babies from what she saw as an enemy. 

I thought of that event when I got the picture in this blog from my daughter last week with the following commentary.  

"Any idea what kind of birds we might be expecting? I had an empty basket on the back porch and I noticed on Sunday that it was filled with pine straw when it was clean prior to that. On Sunday, there was just one egg. On Monday, two and this morning when I checked, three! My neighbors' bird expert friend is coming this week or next so I'm hopeful he might know, though I think his expertise is with identifying what kind of bird is singing." 

I couldn’t answer her question. As I said, I am not a birder, but I am a mother. Sharing this puzzle with Anna gives me a glimpse of how Mama must have enjoyed showing me what that other mother bird was about. 

As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I’m thankful for Mama, for my own role as Mom, and for my daughter and daughters-in-law who are very fine mothers themselves. I could tell stories of things shared with the sons as well, but the only bird story I remember with either of them involves getting pecked by a goose. I think that son would just as soon not be reminded.

I wish happy remembrances of your own mother to all my readers, and if any of you can help us with the kind of bird Anna found on her porch, feel free to chime in.