Empty Nest Syndrome
Last year a pair of House Sparrows nested in the little bird house on our patio.
It hung there “just temporarily” when the Globe Willow came down. Overlooked, it stayed there another year, giving us a second opportunity to share some space with a family of sparrows.
Last year’s male ran off with another “chick” before the eggs even hatched. The little mother amazed us with her constant care and dedication. She chose to ignore us and our proximity as the babies demanded more of her time and food.
I was happy to see this year’s male helping tend to the little brood. He was more hesitant to approach the nest when we were outside. He sat on the chimney and chee-chee’d at us while she scurried back and forth with bugs and seeds. Unfortunately, before the care and feeding was complete, another female lured him away and he did not return.
The mother bird seemed frantic in her efforts the last few days. Those little fledglings (and the crickets!) chirped constantly.
Yesterday evening there was a change. I heard the loud and frantic call of the mother bird in a continuous pattern. Through the patio door, I could see her sitting on the triangle dinner bell (that sits idle since our last chick flew away.)
She escaped as soon as I opened the patio door.
“Hon, hand me the flashlight!” I requested of the guy who knows where everything is in the house, and if he doesn’t know where it is he will find it.
He pointed the beam into the birdhouse entrance, which allowed us to see an empty nest.
“Awww…” I said. “They flew away!”
I woke up this morning to the same frenetic chirping. There she was, once more perched on the bell next to the birdhouse. With feathers fluffed out and neck stretched up, she was calling for her babies.
It “dawned” on me that she had Empty Nest Syndrome.
I turned to the guy who knows where everything is and asked, “That didn’t happen when our last one left, did it?”
“Hmmmmm,” was his initial response.
I could tell he was stalling a little while he thought about his answer.
“I think,” he concluded in an exceedingly diplomatic tone, “it was obvious to me without the flashlight.”