8 Life Lessons from a Baby Bird

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that our family had a rather exciting day last week. We were lucky enough to have rescued a baby bird! On my way home from work, I found a tiny baby bird fallen from the nest on a Brooklyn sidewalk. With scooters and strollers coming down the block, I simultaneously stood in a protective stance and searched for a nest in the rather large tree above, but I couldn’t locate it. With spring’s trees sprouting leaves like crazy, there was no finding that nest. I hemmed and hawed about what to do (take it in? move it to safety? construct a makeshift nest in the tree? leave it for nature to take its course?). I made a few calls, and after talking with NYC’s Wild Bird Fund and explaining the situation, I took it in for the night as per their request, until we could bring it over to them the next day. The little nestling made it through the night under our care, carefully instructed by the Wild Bird Fund, and through the next afternoon when we dropped it at their location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The tiny baby was finally in experienced hands.

Our 3.5 year old daughter was absolutely beside herself. Excited is an understatement, and totally and utterly in love is more like it. While the situation was very unfortunate (a baby bird’s best chance of survival is with its mother), I am glad that we were able to do our part.

In the face of challenge, we were given the chance to learn some very valuable “Life Lessons From a Baby Bird”:

  1. Be mindful and aware of your surroundings

In the hustle and bustle of life it is very, very easy to miss the little things (literally and figuratively). I’m so relieved that this little baby caught my eye. Spotting the bird in the first step of this rescue truly is a lesson in awareness and mindfulness.

         2. There is beauty in even the most unexpected places

Our little nestling was tiny & completely featherless. It’s eyes had yet to open, and between it’s black, bulging eyes, and it’s misshapen, bulging belly, it looked like something out of a science fiction film. That being said, this little helpless baby, with it’s wide open beak was adorable, and really a creature of true beauty.

         3. Things might not always work out the way you’d like them to 

The last thing that man at the Wild Bird Fund said to me on the phone was “Lastly, please know that this little bird might not make it through the night. And if it doesn’t, don’t be sad. You tried your best and there was nothing else you could have done.” Well, I think I could have handled that, but what to tell our daughter to prepare her? We’ve lost a couple of fish during our stint in aquatics, so the idea of an animal dying is not new to her, but this little bird really captured her heart. I did warn her (and she told her nursery class that “its going to die”, so, well, we have to revisit this, I don’t exactly want to raise a pessimist), but I did think that she needed to be warned that “things might not always work out the way you’d like them to.”

         4. Care for those that are less fortunate than we are

We’ve talked a lot recently about taking care of others, even if they aren’t a part of our family. There’s a lot of debate out there in today’s political world about whether or not those that are more fortunate should take care of those that are less so, but in this family caring for others is a point we’d like to drive home.

         5. Help out where we can, to the best of our ability

She *really* wanted to keep this baby bird. When I told her that we don’t know what kind of bird it is, and that we don’t know what it eats she said “I know mommy, birds eat worms!” And when I went on to explain that we don’t know how to care for a baby bird she said “You can watch a video mommy, and learn!” Well, yes, I suppose we could. But the care for a wild bird is really quite complicated. The Wild Bird Fund told us to give it only water until we could bring it to safety, and so that’s what we did. We tried our best with the limited knowledge and experience we had.

         6. Sometimes the right thing to do is to give something up & Let others step in when you can’t do the job 

See # 5. We aren’t the best choice for caring for this bird long-term, and we can’t pretend that we are. It is sometimes heartbreaking to give something up, but this is where the old cliche holds true: “Sometimes if you really love something, you’ve got to set it free.” It’s ok to admit that you’re not cut out for something, especially when something so precious and important such as another’s creatures life is depending on you. In this case, let the experts take over.

         7. You can’t always get what you want 

We cross this lesson’s path each time we go shopping, and it rears it’s head again. “I know you’d really like to keep this bird but we just cannot.”

         8. A love for all creatures, big and small, and the understanding that all life is precious

We are major lovers of all living things in this house. My husband, myself, and our daughter. We try to practice kindness, empathy, and understanding towards all creatures big and small. We know that all life is precious and priceless, and this is a value that we hope to and work hard toward passing on to our child.

         9. Sometimes life’s coincidences are just uncanny

The day I found the baby bird I had taken home a “big book” from school with a collection of stories and poems inside. It was being discarded and I knew that my book fan at home would treasure it. While we were busy caring for the bird, the little miss was flipping through the book. When she uncovered a poem about baby birds inside, with an illustration complete with wide open beaks, just like our little baby, the excitement was tangible. Our brand new book forged a major life connection with our major life event. The coincidence was just uncanny.


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I brought this text collection home for our 3 year old daughter yesterday, and on my way I found a tiny baby bird fallen from the nest on a Brooklyn sidewalk. With scooters and strollers coming down the block, I simultaneously stood in a protective stance and searched for a nest but couldn’t locate it. I hemmed and hawed, made a few calls, and took it in for the night, until we could bring it to the local wild bird rescue center in Manhattan today. And when your 3.5 year old finds a poem in the book you’ve brought home that coincides with this (for her, and this little baby nestling) major life event, you get pretty excited. Thanks @ahmetserdareker for taking care shifts with me last night. . . . . . . #newyork #babybird #spring #springinnyc #brooklyn #birdrescue #rescue #mommyblogger #momblogger #momblog #preschool #preschooler #lifelessons

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