By: hurricanecrab , 8:23 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Sometimes, you know, nature just up and smacks you in the face in a way that is wonderful and educational and enlightening.
Nearly a month ago, a Bananaquit was trying to build a nest above the dual exterior lights outside our house. I personally thought that was an ill-advised spot, since it was facing the predominant wind direction. She would put up a couple of strands of dry foliage, and the wind would take it down. I thought I'd give her a hand, and I put up a loose nylon net in a bush that was just six feet away and around the corner of the house, shielded from the wind, and most of the rain.
Well, she took to it, and started stuffing the net with cotton from a cotton bush, and dry pine needles (yes, we have Norfolk pine here) and within just a few days, the nylon was no longer visible. I also made a feeder and attached it above our seldom-used western door, and filled it with sugar water, just 14" from the nest.
Then the great deluge came, and we watched the bananaquit out our door, and while parts of the nest drooped from the rain, it seemed to be holding its own. Good construction. We had winds that gusted to 40 mph, and ten inches of rain in just two days.
We didn't see her for a couple of days, and wondered if she'd moved on or given up the nest.
And then........... just an hour ago, I saw the changing wind make the bush and the nest tremble, and there they were............ three trubadours, straining their little necks back and forth every time the nest trembled.
We didn't see mama for quite a while, and I wondered if I could feed them if she never showed up. What would she feed them? Bugs? Grubs? Would I have to chew them up first? :D
Thankfully, she just showed up to placate her three chicks. She fed them, stopped off at the feeder for a nosh and then off again.
Now, we're not people to interfere with nature, but at the same time, we feel part of the process, part of the fabric that makes up our nature, and ......... well......... everybody needs a helping hand sometimes.
Because Bananaquits seem to inhabit bushes more than trees and tend to fly low to the ground, they are often prey to cats. So, the lil' buggers get a hand up from us, and hopefully grow to leave the nest and make families of their own, as nature dictates.
Ain't life grand? I don't mind telling you, I'm pretty thankful, and appreciative that I don't have to chew up bugs for the chicks. Bugs without at least a basic basalmic butter sauce would be pretty horrid.
But I'd do it for the chicks.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.