I’m a balcony lover. Yet, I’m not a balcony person. I’m not contradicting myself, but here’s what I meant “I love balconies (so much that I even planned a date night in a balcony once), but I don’t spend time sitting there everyday”. Maybe because our balcony is too small and we cannot accommodate two chairs to sit and revel in nature’s beauty, or maybe because it doesn’t hold a picturesque view.
Gone are those relaxing balcony evenings. The only purpose it serves now is to exhibit our wet clothes and desiccate them. So although it’s unvisited, it’s not deserted. I make sure that little space is spick and span, at least for the love of balconies.
(Click here to get nostalgic and walk down the memory lane of your favourite balcony moments.)
Even though it is tiny and doesn’t offer a scenic view, there’s something very fascinating about our balcony. It’s a home to a bird family. Yes, we share our house. Two nifty sparrows built a nest meticulously on the roof. The nest is propped up on the drain pipe and is carefully supported by the wall on one side.
The cute chirping of the little birds compels me to take frequent visits to our tiny space now. Sometimes I tiptoe through the guest bedroom just to ensure they don’t get startled with my undesired presence. I love to watch them while Mr & Mrs Sparrow take turns to feed their little ones and keep an eye out for any possible threat.
How can I forget mentioning about the christening ceremonies? Here are some of the names I gave to the birds born in our house – Dolsy, Chicksy, Fancy, Pecky, Picky. Aren’t they unique and special? Ha-ha!
Liz, our new addition to the family came in with a bunch of changes to our lifestyle and introduced us back to the good old balcony times. She’s a friend of the earth, and a lover of birds and animals. Oh! Her first trip to the zoo is still pending. I’m sure she’s going to fall in love with that place, and I’ll have so much to write about.
The wretched part of watching these birds is when a fledgling tumbles down the nest and screeches to death. The woeful tales of my baby bird funeral sessions are seasonal but one incident traumatized me – I witnessed a nestling survive the fall, but Alas!
The hatchling toppled over and I knew she wouldn’t survive for long. Poor thing! It was just a lump of flesh with no feathers. Her heart was thumping so hard. Flapping her tiny wings and shrieking for help, she kept fighting for life.
Unable to take my eyes off her suffering, I wanted to offer some help. I used a cotton roll to protect her bony figure from the hard ceramic tiles. Unfortunately, human intervention made her jitter with fear. In an attempt to escape from me, her slender and fragile clawed feet kept slipping on the smooth tiles.
Helplessly, I waited for her to follow her survival instincts. My repeated checks on her revealed her determination for life.
Slowly the minutes ticked off to hours. Yet, she wasn’t ready to give up. My efforts to pour life into the dying infant birdy were failing so badly. I went to the extent of pulling a dozen chairs into the balcony, piled them up to reach the nest (Of course, with my husband’s help. It was his idea). A tuffet helped me to climb up my chair ladder. It was scary to look down from there.
Mustering enough courage, I took the fledgling rolled up in cotton, as my husband handed it over to me. My mum eerily witnessed the melodrama with Liz in her arms.
Soon as I put my hand to the nest to return the little fellow to where it belongs, the father bird had a panic attack, screeched loudly and flew away in terror. We all screamed too (I mean, I did).
It took me a few breathing exercises to get back on duty again. With twitching hands, I placed the tiny lump of breathing flesh at the entrance of the nest.
Fluttering my eyelids in achievement, I hardly turned around to get down when the unexpected happened. The tiny bird fell down to death, as the other babies panicked. My heart sank! That whole evening I kept wondering if the baby sparrow is in heaven.
Turns out that once a bird falls out of the nest, the parent birds cannot accept it back into the family. So sad! (Don’t you think the human race is blessed with beautiful relationships?)
I kept singing the “Quacky” song from “Time to be happy” album. I could feel the pain of that little boy grieving for his dead duckling. But, the hope that his duck is in heaven, comforted me, too.
Do you think baby birds go to heaven?