A Lesson on Parenting: To Honor A Mockingbird
Last week my gardener trimmed back a bush that was in my backyard. To our surprise, he exposed a nest with newly hatched Mockingbird chicks inside (actual picture above, chicks about 5 days old). While my son and I were in the backyard observing the chicks, the mother and father began frantically squawking and diving in our direction. The more I observed them the more I became in awe of how, they too, were nurturing and protective parents caring for their young.
Unfortunately, the exposed nest was a danger for the hatchlings. They were exposed to cats, other birds, and the elements. So, I contacted South Bay Wild Life Rehabilitation www.SBWR.org and they, immediately came to the rescue.
The mother and father Mockingbirds were never far away, they stayed on a telephone wire just above the house, watching over their nest. When SBWR attempted to move the nest, the mother and father Mockingbirds squawked vigorously while diving at our heads (one of them had a worm in its beak, apparently bringing home food for the family). Undaunted by the attacks, SBWR moved the nest to another location (higher and less accessible to predators), but, after an hour, the parents were still looking for their nest in the old place. They just kept flying around the bush. SBWR decided it would be best to take the chicks. They said they would feed and nurture them until they could be released back into the wild.
When my son and I went into the backyard the next day, who was there to greet us (more like attack us), mama and papa Mockingbird were still watching over that bush, waiting for their babies to come back. It broke my heart. These were seriously awesome parents.
It’s unfortunate that this didn’t end on a happier note for the Mockingbirds, but I am relieved to know that the chicks will, more than likely reach adulthood without the threat of being eaten by predators (three lives saved). It took a few days for the parent Mockingbirds to figure it out and finally leave their posts.
My son could not understand why, days later, the birds were still trying to hurt us. I tried to explain to him that parenting means nurturing and protecting and that’s what the Mockingbirds were trying to do (the best way they could). I told him that if anyone tried to take him away from me, that’s what I would be doing. I explained that my job is to do the best I can to nurture him and protect him from harm, and even though they are birds, they, obviously, feel the same way, but when I watch the news I am always dismayed by human beings that show little concern or care for their children.
Sometimes humans (supposedly more intelligent than animals) don’t even meet the standards of the Mockingbird, and during those few days I couldn’t stop thinking about my son’s father and how he, too, falls short of a Mockingbird.
Peace and blessings.