I thought I was done with the bluebird posts, had finished pouring my constant worries on you, my friend. But a couple of things have happened that complete the story, finish the circle, wrap up the loose ends, if you will.
(I won’t judge if you click away. This bluebird business has gone on for quite a while now.)
I took a walk down the steps the day after the killing, the one in which I looked into the box to find four of the babies missing, one still there but dead. I can’t for the life of me explain the timing of my going down to the nest box right then other than The Man Upstairs felt I was owed a complete explanation of the previous day’s sad events, my hypothesis proven. Or perhaps He knew I would go right over, insert my fingers and pull down the big wood door. And that would have been a Big Mistake. Because when I got to the window and looked toward the brick column, this is what I saw.
I couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe it. That snake was in there right then, the evil-doer, his mouth no doubt full and his tale protruding. (Talk about a tell-tale sign.) Then I downloaded the photo to see it was, in fact, his head sticking out. Good lord.
Kind and concerned bluebird experts later explained to me that rat snakes (Is that a rat snake? I would really like confirmation!) are excellent climbers that make light work of a brick column in pursuit of baby birds. So it’s a good idea to take other–extraordinary–protective measures.
My sweet husband and I rushed to the bird store to investigate options. We decided on a metal pole, snake baffle AND we eagerly made notes about instructions for applying grease to the pole, if necessary. We also bought a brand spanking new bluebird house with cross ventilation AND a very swell peak-a-boo window to allow better photos of a nest in progress. Yea!
We He got it installed in a pretty spot in our yard and then we removed the old nest from the old house. It was a sad and difficult thing to do, but in the interest of science, I carried on.
It was a majestic double-decker, as we suspected, a new nest built right on top of the old one after its first five little eggs weren’t viable. The photo doesn’t do this next point justice but I believe it to be the most remarkable part of the entire story. Before building the second nest, the parents covered the first eggs with feathers.
I think that’s lovely.
So now we wait. Chances are highly unlikely my bluebird pair will nest for the third time this late in the season, and to tell you the truth, I’d be happy just to see the female. I haven’t spotted her at all since the massacre and hope hope hope she is still out there, healthy.
And so, once again, we wait!
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The beauty of nature and the reality of life.
Thank you for sharing.
Yes. I am happy there is enough beauty to make up for the reality! Thanks, Mark.
Cathy, I know you named the snake.
Ha! I didn’t, but I promise you I look for him/her every time I step outside!
Wonderful, real conclusion to your bluebird saga, Cathy. So glad you wrote this one. Now we hope!
Yes, Martha! Thank you for hoping with me!