Killer Magpie

When we got home from school Wednesday, the boys went out to play in the garden. Soon “Kitty” came screaming that there was a bird nest in our spruce bush. Well, I think it is some kind of spruce and it looks like a bush. The terrible thing is that it stands right at the corner of our deck, placed there by my mother who planted it years ago for us. “Sparky” throws balls in to it, cars, shoes, children’s garden rakes, you name it. I did not believe that any bird could do such a stupid thing like building a nest there, and walked out on the deck, very skeptical. But he was right. I had to look hard because it’s dark in there among the needles, and to see it, you have to lean so far forward that you almost fall in to the bush yourself. (The photo is not from OUR birdnest. I can’t get near enough to take one and it’s too dark as well.) In the nest were three little baby birds and two baby blue eggs. We wondered what sort of birds they were and where on Earth the mother had taken off to? Every time we peeked in there, the little birds opened their mouths, so we started to worry that they were starving to death, that the mother didn’t dare to come back to the nest. It’s been so cold up till now, that the children have not been out in the garden, which might have made her think that it was a good spot to build a nest, secluded and safe. But NOW it’s warm and they are out there. Daniel wanted me to bring the children in and lock the door but it is after all OUR garden, and I haven’t got a clue how long it will take for these birds to get feathers and take off! I can’t force the boys to stay indoors because of one foolish bird’s bad planning!

When I came home from “Cookie’s” dance in the evening, I brought T. out to see them and we were both SO concerned. What does one do if the mother doesn’t come back. We stood and watched them and then went inside. When I locked the glass door and sat down, I suddenly saw first a brown bird go in and then she came out, and a black bird went in. The parents had finally dared to come forward to feed their babies! I was so relieved and yesterday morning I went out to check on the babies, when I had taken the boys to pre-school. One more egg had been hatched but to my horror, some hours later, I heard screaming from the bush. I looked out the window and I saw a magpie fly out of the bush AND the mother was attacking it. I have never heard something like it before and it gave me goosebumps! The poor mother trying to protect her babies and the horrible magpie trying to eat them I guess? I had no idea that magpies would do this, so I ran out on the deck to see what I could see or do. The magpie landed out on the bicycle walk and the mother sat in our apple tree by the fence. I could not see what the magpie was doing but I looked in at the nest, when it had flown over to the land-hockey ground, and to my horror I saw that the last egg was gone and there are only four babies.

“Cookie” was chasing magpies all afternoon yesterday, thinking it was the killer that had come back to our garden. “Dollie” came home from school and wanted to see the nest, at the same time as she told “Cookie” that she is silly to think it is the same magpie the entire time. “Dollie” felt that we ought to take the nest inside and feed the babies because they had done so at school, when they found a nest on the ground. But I do not think that is the right thing to do. I have always hated to watch nature documentaries, where the film crew film animals being attacked, instead of doing something, stopping it, saving the poor baby… But at the same time, this is nature. Nature has to take it’s course. However painful it is to watch. If they can’t survive out there, they will not survive later either. And I know nothing about blackbirds what so ever! I don’t know how to keep these babies alive, what to feed them, how to keep them warm?! I must try to accept that the mother and father know what to do, and must let them be parents and protecting their own young ones. But I do not like it. I feel responsible since they are in my spruce, in my garden, five steps away from my sitting room window and door! The children missed their bus yesterday because they stood and looked out the window, worrying. Today I had to force them all away from the window, telling them that the mother probably doesn’t dare to go near, when she sees movement anywhere close to the nest, even if it is from the inside of the house.

May the babies be safe! May the magpie forget about the nest! Or fill it’s tummy with something else than blackbird babies. Horrible bird!!!

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