A really cool thing has happened on our porch. A mocking bird has made a nest in my hanging plant and hatched four baby birds!
The plant hangs just outside our dining room window, so we have full access to their show, morning, noon and night. It has been awesome watching an empty nest become a full house.
Seeing that they’re “mocking” birds, I’ve named them all after comedians. We have Lucille Ball, Robin Williams, Steve Martin and Jim Carey. I’m assuming Lucy is a girl because she’s the smallest. Robin, Steve and Jim are all about the same size but Jim is my favorite. He’s got spunk.
I must admit, I am intrigued. Without a thought, I find myself staring out the window alongside my cat, Miss Fortunate. I think we could stand and watch for hours.
Of course, I don’t suddenly slam myself against the glass with a forgetful pounce like she does, but it’s fun to watch nonetheless.
This morning I couldn’t stop watching them; I seriously think they grew over night. They still sport fuzzy Mohawks but their feathers are finally thick enough to make out the distinct mocking bird pattern, and they’re starting to flutter a bit.
Jim is quite the handful–or beakful, I guess would be more appropriate. He is always perched a bit higher than the others. He knows Momma has gone in search of breakfast and by golly, he plans to be the first one fed. Sure enough, when she returns he’s there waiting with beak open. That’s him eating in the picture.
He does this a lot, even climbing over his brothers and sister to get the best view of Momma. If she flies off to the left, he goes to the left side of the nest. If she flies right, he moves right. Wherever she goes, he watches and waits for her return.
This morning as I watched, he got a little overzealous and almost fell out of the nest. Of course, Momma wasn’t too far away to save him. I gasped as she swooped in and caught him just in time. That was close!
The thing I like to watch most is when they all stick their necks out and open their beaks wide, waiting for Momma to fill them. They’re so confident she will, they sometimes sit there for minutes on end with their mouths hanging open. They want to be ready; they never miss an opportunity to eat. Especially Jim.
I also like how they’re so tiny and helpless, how all they can do is sit there and wait for Momma. They are completely dependent on what she does for them. These babies have absolutely nothing to offer her except their song and she seems just fine with that.
They chirp, call out to her; she hears them and returns. Sometimes immediately, sometimes not, but she always responds.
The other thing that’s cool is watching Momma gather food. She perches at the tippy top of my kids’ playhouse and scans the ground for anything that moves. In no time she spots something, swoops down, scoops it up and lands back at the nest. Better not blink or you’ll miss it–she’s fast!
There are times, though, when nothing moves and she has to wait a bit. But hearing the hungry cries of her babies she flies to the ground and begins hunting for produce rather than protein. She finds what she can and returns to them.
Although Jim sees each beakful of food as his own, his high position doesn’t fool Momma. She loves all four of her fuzzy babies and sees to it that each gets fed. Jim just usually gets to go first.
As their breakfast wrapped up I decided it was time for my own. I turned to leave my front row seat when suddenly, we had action! Steve, Robin, Lucy and Jim began making the loudest, noisiest little screeches I’ve ever heard!
I turned to see a strange bird perched on the basket. I don’t know where she was, but within seconds Momma pulled a Top Gun and buzzed the tower! She heard the screeches, too and knew her babies meant business.
Scaring off the bird, she then perched herself on the back of our rocking chair, right in front of me.
Nobody messes with her babies. Nobody.
She stood at attention for a few more minutes on her swing-set lookout, then returned to the nest. I watched as she got down inside the nest with her babies, smoothing their feathers. It was almost as if she hugged each of them.
I just love these birds. And though I know one day The Mockings will fly away, I’m attached. Somehow I’ve been allowed to witness the miracle of their beginning; their unfolding feathers and story.
I wonder how many times Momma has done this same show? Surely she’s laid more than four eggs in her lifetime.
Regardless, she knows what she’s doing. Whether this is her first or fourth or fortieth nest full, she never seems tired or annoyed or stressed. It’s what she does, what she was made to do. Sure, she does other things like sing and fly, but for now her focus is here in this basket.
I can relate to this momma; I see so much of myself in her. But watching the whole, I am overwhelmingly reminded of The Father.
Part of me wants to be like Jim, sticking my neck out for the Lord, moving to get a better view of Him; willingly taking risks in my search because I trust Him to catch me.
But then I admire all of them, how they’re content in their helplessness. How they don’t fight Momma but allow her to do her thing because they know it will benefit them in the end.
Like Jim and the gang, all I can really do is sit and wait for God’s provision, trusting He will give me what I need when I need it, even if I feel like little Lucy at the bottom of the nest.
Momma Mocking is proof He will defend me. Get down in the nest with me. Soothe me. Cover me with His wings.
No matter how many times He’s done it before, The Father takes delight in caring for me. He knows exactly where I am, whether I can see Him or not. He hears my cry and, even if it takes a minute, He will respond.
I have absolutely nothing to offer but my song, and like Momma Mocking, He is perfectly fine with that.
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” ~Matthew 10:31
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”