Mama Bird

A few weeks ago I put a spring wreath on the front door, one of eucalyptus and fake pink flowers. Nice and round like most wreaths, I enjoyed looking at it…and smelling it too. One day I noticed with dismay that it seemed a bit elongated. Hmmm. What was going on? The next day as I was standing by the door talking on the phone, I took a closer look at the wreath and could have sworn that it was growing. Peering a bit closer, I was astonished to see a small bird’s nest and a tiny blue egg. Who built the nest, and where was she? The next day there were two eggs, but I still hadn’t seen Mama Bird. A couple of days later, I was saddened to see that one of the eggs had splattered on the front steps. When I took a peek into the nest, however, there were still two eggs. That was a week ago, and now there are four.


We’re watching this little drama with great interest. DH noticed that every time we approached the door, the mama would fly away to a nearby tree and wait until the coast was clear before returning to sit on her eggs. Now we noticed that she doesn’t wait so long; within seconds, she’s back. We know that she feels the need to sit on these developing little eggs so that they can hatch into sparrows like she is, and we’ve begun cooperating by using another entrance/exit. This morning when I left for an early morning walk, I left through a back door that necessitated walking around the house in order to get to the road. Not that it was a problem. It’s just that it hit me that the baby chick development has become a priority for us.


Why am I relating this story? Because as I was out walking this morning, I found myself thinking about mothers and babies. Whether human or bird, mothers do a lot of the same things, and humans could take a few lessons from our feathered friends. This little mama takes her mothering responsibilities seriously. Instead of gadding about all over the neighborhood, she stays right in the nest protecting and nurturing her eggs. Although there’s a lot to be experienced in the environment, she realizes that the most important thing she can do right now is be there for her baby birds’ development. Once in a while she’ll fly away, but she always comes back ASAP. After the babies are hatched, she’ll venture out to get a few juicy worms for her little brood, but for the most part, she’ll stay right there with them. At some point, she’ll “kick them out of the nest” for their own good…and hers too. Mama birds aren’t enablers.


I also realized that just as DH and I are doing our part to assist her, human mothers need others to assist them. Whether it’s advice, free babysitting, a casserole, or words of encouragement, mothers would appreciate it.  I know all these things because I’m a mother and a grandmother, and Mama Sparrow has reminded me of some truths.


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

13 thoughts on “Mama Bird”

  1. The same exact thing happened to my sister-in-law. Maybe I should start putting a nest on my door… we have lots of birds around where I live and it would be fun to have a baby bird in our nest 🙂

    It is really nice and grounding to read posts like this after all the angsty-feminist stuff that circulates. Not that feminism is wrong, but just that one should not feel guilty to prioritize mothering as the most important thing on one’s agenda. Thanks for this.

  2. my wife is obsessed with her kids , lucky for me and all of them…seriously she spends time money, since they have all left the nest but two, and phone calls …i just thought i would mention this, plus say i’m trying to be very supportive

  3. Those sweet little birds particulary like hanging baskets as well. I almost drowned a nest one day.
    Luckily I saw the nest but unfortunately there was no way to water it without injuring the birds. I chose to sacrifice the plant. Great comparison – I love being a mom and grandmom and friend.

  4. Sarah, I know exactly what you mean. One of my daughters is a full-time, stay-at-home-mother, and she KNOWS it’s the most important thing she will ever do. I’ve always worked outside of the home, even when my children were small, but I did earnestly try to do my best when we were together. I was extremely fortunate to have excellent childcare in a Baptist church, and I give that facility a lot of credit in my children’s development…and the teachings of the church too, of course. In fact, one of the primary reasons I joined the church was because I could clearly see how my children were learning and growing.

  5. Barlow, I guess being a mother is NEVER finished. Until my mother died at age 71, she always told me to be careful whenever I’d leave her house. And yes, we had those phone calls too. I still miss her.

  6. Connie, That’s such a cool story…and so like you to think of the birds before the plant. We’ve gotten so into this situation that I just called my daughter who’s coming later today to come in the back door of the breezeway because of the little bird family on the front door.

  7. What a beautiful story… glad you know how to enjoy the moments and share them with your blog friends so well…important things in life! Mama birds have such great instincts. They get them from their maker… just like we are suppose to if we stay in contact. They don’t spend alot of time worrying–lessons to be learned from nature everyday. Faith and Trust. I will try to be a better observer–and practice being braver like our feathered friends. Their nests are works of art–it’s always fun to see what the birds found to make the nest once the family moves on…

  8. What a beautiful and insightful story! We can always learn from the ways of nature. I’ve had a simular experience; and mother bird kept a watchful eye out and provided what was needed for those chicks! Your words make everyday experiences so meaningful. Thanks so very much for sharing!

  9. Thanks for your comments, Elaine and Cordie. The four little eggs are still there, and the mama is just as dedicated and determined as ever to bring her little chicks to life. What’s humorous as wellas heart warming to me is how so many people are using other ways of getting into the house to avoid scaring the mama away. It’d be nice if humans did as much to help with all new life…with children and their mothers.

  10. Thanks for the memory. My mama bird lived in a tree near my bedroom window and my favorite part was when she started having conversations with her little ones. It was very obvious that language was involved not just a simple chirp. You could tell from the tone inflection, length pitch and numbers of chirps that real developed communication was taking place. It was my favorite part of waking each morning.

  11. Janet, This is a great story. My mother LOVED to sit quietly in the morning and listen to the birds. She said they always sounded so cheerful. At the time, I didn’t have the appreciation for Mother Nature that I do now so I probably didn’t understand her awe of our fine feathered friends.

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