Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sparrows Falling?

We haven't had much rain in the Valleys since last Thursday, and conditions were getting dry. But late this afternoon, a strong line of thunderclouds streamed in from the west and looked sure to break. I closed my car windows, then noticed how sad my neighbors' hanging baskets were looking. They always unhook them and put them out on the sidewalk when it rains, and here they weren't at home to do it.

I knew they'd want to take advantage of the moisture. So I decided to do my neighbors a favor, and put the petunia baskets out myself. And this is what I found in one of them:

What to do? If I left the nest in the planter, the baby birds would likely drown. But the flowers needed the water.

So I picked the nest up, birdies and all, and put it in a sheltered position on the porch, leaving the planters on the sidewalk to drink.

The mother bird, a sparrow, came back during the worst of the storm, and couldn't find her brood. Since I don't speak Sparrow, I couldn't tell her her babies were safe on the porch floor.

After a half hour or so, I decided the petunias had had enough and, having carefully replaced the nest in the one, I rehung both baskets.

I can see the nest from my door, and so far, I haven't seen the mother bird back on it. This worries me! I know sparrows are a penny a dozen, and a lot of people consider them avian vermin. But if a sparrow (or a whole nest of baby sparrows) is effectively going to "fall," I'd rather it not be my fault!

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