On Tuesday I noticed a little bird that had fallen out of the nest. The nest is built on a beam in the pavilion behind where the tent is set up this week. I noticed the little bird as I was walking through. The reason I noticed it at all was that it did not try to get away as I approached.
It is a pretty good sized bird but not quite ready to fly. It opened its little mouth as I got closer and I could see it was looking to me for food. After I finished what I was doing I went to fetch my shovel and turned over a little dirt nearby. I scooped up some worms and fed them to the fallen bird one at a time.
As I was dropping the 3rd worm in the little bird's mouth it was suddenly distracted. I thought for a moment that it was full and wanted no more of the worms. Then I looked in the direction the bird was looking and saw the mama bird on the porch rail. I backed off to see what would happen but the mama soon flew away.
It flew back and forth several times but seemed at a loss at what to do. I was at a loss too. I could have put it back in the nest with a ladder but there were other little ones there and I did not want the mama to abandon them all because I touched this one. I had been careful not to touch this one because I heard when I was a kid that the mama would abandon the baby or the egg if you touched it. Is that true?
I had also seen the mama defend the nest when a starling tried to get in and I did not want to become a victim of its wrath while standing on top of a ladder.
I tried to move the baby with my shovel to the shade but it kept moving into the sun. I fed it some more worms and then went back to my duties. Later in the day we saw another starling attacking the nest but the mama was fighting it off. The starling did not seem to notice the helpless prey on the ground.
Wednesday I did not see the baby bird but one of ladies told me after church that they saw it crawling on the ground behind the gym. I am surprised it has avoided predators for over 24 hours. Maybe the mama is staying close by and defending it and the nest with the other babies. That would be a testament to a mother's love and protective instinct.
I hope the little guy survives. I pulling for it. The starling, a cat, a snake or a dozen other enemies would love to devour it. The whole problem could have been avoided if the little thing had not left the nest before it was able to fly on its own. I guess its curiosity caused it to take just one step too many and that last step was 10-12 feet down to the concrete. The mama gave it a little room to explore and the baby pushed the limit too far.
We do that don't we? God gives us room to explore and make our own choices and often we push the limit until we fall out of the nest. It is the grace of God that we are not destroyed on that first disastrous step. Often times God sends just the right provision and protection our way and He is never far away even though our waywardness makes us feel alone and abandoned. We forget that we left the nest, God did not leave us!
There is at least one definite difference between us and that little bird.. God is absolutely able to put us safely back in the nest if we decide to come back home. He is actively pulling for us.
We watched him do it last night under the Blue and White Gospel Tent in Springville, Indiana. Some responded and found their way back home. It was awesome to behold. Others cried but ultimately decided to spend another night out in the cold. It was awfully heartbreaking.
I hope the predator does not find and devour them before they have another chance to come back home to the safety of the Father.
Pray for us and the little helpless birds.