Sunday, 1 November 2015

A Fragile Life

About a month ago, my beautiful boy and I were lucky enough to spy a mother Tawny Frogmouth sitting on her nest in the fork of a gum tree near the entrance to our bike path. She was trying so hard to look like the ragged end of a branch as she sat on her precious eggs.

Each day, when out walking Sir Steve dog, we'd look up to see if her eggs had hatched. Not long ago, we were lucky enough to spy two tiny balls of fluff poking out from in front of their mother's breast. Chicks!

Not long after our discovery though, we had an intense storm here with whipping winds and driving rain. The following morning, while my husband was out walking Sir Steve dog, he noticed that one of the tiny chicks had been blown from its high nest. What to do?

Wildlife rescue advised that the chick's best chance was for us to construct a makeshift nest and to place this in the fork of another tree close to the original nest. So, our boy and his dad constructed a nest from an old plant pot, filled it with mulch and leaves and secured it in a tree. They tenderly transferred this fragile baby bird into the little nest they'd made for it.

Beautiful boy was full of questions:  "Will it survive? Will Mother Tawny come down to it? What will happen if she doesn't come?"  To all these questions, we had to give measured answers and ones that didn't offer any false hope. The chances were very, very slim and we told our boy that because that was the truth and because we have always told him that death is a part of the cycle of life for all living things. We crossed our fingers and hoped.

 The tiny Tawny Frogmouth waiting for its Mum ...

This tiny, beautiful chick didn't survive away from the love and warmth of its mother. Its lifetime was very short but it taught our beautiful boy so much about nature, about tenderness towards other creatures and about the fragility of life. Those are very special and important lessons that no child can learn from a computer game. They only come about from a close interaction with nature.

P.S. We are still keeping a close eye on Mother Tawny and her remaining chick. Mother Tawny continues to sit, patiently protecting her baby. The baby chick is healthy and strong now; seemingly growing bigger every day. 

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