We had anxiety for our baby bird every day... Would his mama feed him? Would he stay dry? Would a cat get him? Would the neighbor's dog get him? Would he wander into the front yard, on to the driveway or into the street, and get hit by a car? I kid you not, I worried about that. If we didn't see him for a couple hours, we started casually asking each other if they'd seen him lately. And then we'd see him, and rush to tell each other. When he started hopping, and then gliding off things, and then flying up things, we celebrated each event proving he was MAKING IT! Our baby was thriving, against all odds.
We had seen a baby hawk in the neighborhood for a couple weeks. It seemed to be living in our neighbor's tree, and we'd seen it flying past the front of our house and into her tree. It was remarkable in the sense that it was new and different, but I didn't put any thought into what it means to have a hawk living next door to your yard full of birds, and especially your adorable, dopey, helpless baby bird. Imagine the utter horror of looking out the back window to see this. Or don't imagine it, because I'll tell you it was awful. We were just frozen watching in disbelief. It never, ever, ever crossed my mind that this would happen. And then it was happening, and a couple things: first, I don't wish any ill on a baby hawk. He's a baby bird too, and he has to do his bird things, and that's the circle of life I guess. Also, when in life will I ever see this again? Never, I hope and I had a very confusing moment where I couldn't decide if I should take a picture. I'm glad I did, because as I approached the hawk flew off with his meal. And I'm glad I didn't focus correctly, because I don't really need to see this any better than I did in that sad, sad moment.
This happened on a Sunday evening. For three days we never saw a bird in the back yard. Word's out, birds out. It was really creepy. I saw the mama Robin in the front yard, and she always seemed to be looking for something. I am telling you, that was a sad, sad week for everyone. And, I did start to wonder if the birds would boycott the backyard for ever. What a terrible punishment, to have witnessed this heartbreaking moment, and then to never get a bird in the backyard again. But, on the fourth day they were back. Not in the evening, I think they've all learned something here. But they're back.