Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Yesterday afternoon I came out onto my front porch and was greeted by the sight of these two fledglings on the walk leading up to my house.

I don’t know how these baby birds ended up there. I can only assume that they fell from their nest. However, the nearest tree that would support a nest is more than fifteen feet from where they were; thus, I must assume that they hopped to where I found them.

After checking that both fledglings were alive, I decided that I must do sometime to protect them. Considering the feline and canine population of my neighborhood, including Alex, I realized that they would not last long in such an exposed location.

As it turned out, I need not have worried about Alex. When I opened my front door, that cat who owns me came out on the porch. Before I could grab him so that he wouldn’t attack the baby birds, two adult blue jays flew toward the porch, loudly screeching what I can only assume was a warning to my cat. Alex, being neither a great hunter nor a particularly brave feline, scampered back into my house and hid behind the livingroom couch.

I, too, came into the house and, after giving some thought to the problem of the birds, telephoned the most knowledgeable naturalist I know, Dewey Amundsen, the Boy Scout leader of the last church I pastored. Dewey agreed that I needed to find a sanctuary for the fledglings and, since I could not locate their nest and should not pick them up with my hands, he suggested that I slip a piece of cardboard under each bird and move it to a safer location.

I followed Dewey’s suggestion and moved the fledglings to a spot beneath the shrubbery in front of my porch. I would have preferred to place them at a higher location; however I could find none that was appropriate.

This morning I checked the spot to which I had relocated the birds. They were no longer there.

I have searched for the baby birds and can find no sign of them; nor have I seen their parents. I can only assume that, even with my intervention, nature has taken her customary course.


  1. Well, you tried, but short of finding the nest and actually dumping them back into it, the end was probably inevitable, and quick. Nature, I've noticed, not only abhors a vacuum, but also a happy ending.

  2. Hey brother... I didnt know you were once a pastor. Are you still living your life in the name of Jesus? I am and have been saved for 5 weeks now, very very excited. Well I hope you are!

  3. Beautiful coloration, looked like bluejays - sometimes our efforts seem futile but worth the time for us on the inside - knowing that we tried. ec

  4. We recently figured out a family of Kildeer inhabit some property just below ours. At the bottom of our property (we live on a hill), it's marshy and come to find out, it's perfect living conditions for kildeer who, according to, are highly adaptable to any living situation.

    We've also seen a real bluebird. Not a blue jay, but a real bluebird. It was very pretty and perched itself on top of our new hummingbird feeder just a few weekends ago.

  5. LIMPY: No, I couldn’t locate the nest. As it turned out, it certainly wasn’t a happy ending. I found the fledglings carcasses this morning.

    BREEZY: Congratulations on your recent commissioning as a 2LT in the U.S. Army.

    MREDDIE: Yes, they are/were blue jays—one mail and one female.

    THE NUT: I don’t believe I have ever seen a killdeer in the flesh—or is that “in the feathers.”