It took them the rest of the morning to finish their nest.
“This nest is really the best!” said Mrs. Bird.
“I want to stay here forever."
from The Best Nest
written and illustrated by P. D. Eastman
Beginner Books/Random House, 1968
Several years ago I went to a craft fair and bought a bluebird house. I know it’s a bluebird house because the person who sold it to me said the small, round opening is just the right size for a bluebird. At the time, I didn’t give much thought to the exclusivity of my new bird house, only that I would be providing habitat for local wildlife and giving my cats something interesting to watch.
But it was not to be. Year after year I hung the bluebird house. Year after year it remained unused. Even though we brought it inside every winter to protect it from the elements, the roof was weathering in a nasty way. My husband kept the bird house in his workshop for a while. He finally fixed it up to his satisfaction and a few years ago re-hung it, in time for nesting season.
Bluebirds are beautiful. I see them often on a walking trail near my house, but I’ve never seen any as close as my own yard. I was hopeful.
More years passed.
As I was getting ready to post last week’s blog, a wren perched on top of the house, chirped madly, and flew in, then back out. A few days later I watched it take a string into the house. My husband told me he saw her (?) take in a small twig.
Ah! nest building. At long last.
But it was a wren, not a bluebird. I didn’t even know wrens wanted to live in the neighborhood, and suddenly, here they are! I was not disappointed.
After all, whoever wants to move in is welcome.
Yesterday’s Memorial Day Ceremonies reminded me that we still live in a free country. All are welcome. A statue in New York Harbor lights her lamp of optimism and opportunity. She beckons to all who seek Liberty.
So if a wren wants to move into a bluebird house, it’s okay with me. That little family needs a place to feel secure, raise its young, and contribute to their avian society.
I’ll keep putting out birdseed for the flock of sparrows, the cardinal pair, and the stray chickadees, finches, and tufted titmice (titmouses?).
Wrens are insect eaters. They’ll need to fend for themselves, but they know they are welcome here.
So are the bluebirds, if they ever decide to show up!
-—stay curious! (and welcoming)