But to our surprise after about 10 days the nest was the home to three hungry mouths of hairless bird-lings. Still no sign of any parents. If the nest is really abandoned, what to do with these? I brought my camera to take a pic. As I moved my camera much closer to the nest there erupted a frantic and quite a furious squealing from one tiny angry green bird flying over my head. Aha! Here comes the protective Mama. So the parents weren’t so cavalier after all !! Google said that the nest belonged to the song bird variety called Common Tailor Bird. Soon the dutiful parents embarked on the duty of taking turns to feeding the chicks with ‘who knows what’. Every hour or so I would see the tailor birds fleeting to and fro from the nest.
The next day:
The day had us running around with plentiful shooing of crows, garden lizards, cats, hawks (oh yes, a hawk!) and of course Thunder. The major threat was Thunder, my pet dog. He is playful and thinks any moving or noisy objects are his toys. We were worried that the now chirping, flightless chicks would attract Thunder’s attention and would become his toys or a smacking dinner. He was so curious as to why the usually insignificant part of the garden was given so much attention. He came sniffing around the bush searching for clues. But the well designed camouflaged nest went unnoticed by him. Kudos to tailor birds!
But my mother couldn’t simply be in peace with the thought that the nest was out of danger since its undetected. So, she went out and bought an iron mesh. She placated everyone saying that the mesh would have a future use as fence to tree saplings. Who is to stand in the way of determined mothers! So we placed an iron mesh around the plant with sack over it. The mama bird was so tiny that it could fly in and out through the meshes s. So, for now they are safe. For now,until they fly.
After four days I heard a soft squeaking from the small tree nearby the bush. I found one of the chicks on the tree. Just four days and he was already out of the nest!! He (or was it a she??) was fluffy, round, tailless with undeveloped wings. The other two tiny-ies also were perched on the bush. They were quite fearless of me as I came nearby and gave me insolent looks! (Can tiny sparrows give insolent looks. I thought they did!).
The chicks were ready for their flying lessons. Lessons in the sense that all tailless siblings were asked to look proud and ordered to fly by their parents. Well, I am guessing it was an order since the mama bird’s squeak was crackling, given how crackling a 10 cm bird can be. The siblings meted out the order by hopping, taking short leaps and very soon flying. All in all the lessons took about 10 minutes and they soon flew away fluttering to their future. So long, sparrows… As I sat there watching all of this I couldn’t help but wonder about the time period that took to educate the young sparrows. Ten minutes at the most. Is human life so much complicated and predatory, that we use 18 years of our lifetime to prepare ourselves for what’s out there?