Every morning I peek into the nest (via my phone) and the first thing I do is try to count beaks. Sometimes I have to wait until a feeding when all the beaks are plainly, comically visible. I don’t fully exhale until I see four needy mouths. So far, four everyday. 🙂
I was shocked last year to learn the survival rate for Eastern Bluebirds is only 25%. Yes, 75% of the birds do not make it. In our short career as Bluebird Ambassadors, we have lost six nestlings, at least four fledglings (that we know about) and one gorgeous and kind male adult in the span of two spring/summer seasons. It’s heartbreaking…truly heartbreaking…but I’m reminded that, it’s nature. And it’s part of the fragile agreement we have with life. In this way observing Bluebirds has taught me almost as much about death and loss as it has about life. Spending any focused time in the natural world deepens our understanding of the delicate balance of existence—including our own—and our place in the cosmos. It can be like church. A lot like it.
So back to these four adorable beaks that I have the honor of observing and counting each morning. They are just beginning to look birdly. They have microscopic feathers on their heads and wings and their individual personalities are beginning to show. I think I’ve identified the runt and the bully—you know that sibling that hops and climbs over the others to directly negotiate with the parents for more food. There’s one in every family. Am I right?
This video shows a snippet from yesterday. Remember, you can see ALL the daily posts from the start of nest building HERE.