Drama in the Nursery

What scene could be more bucolic than that of a mother bird on the nest with her cute little chicks. It’s the perfect picture of security. Mother or Father bring food at the right time and deposit it on the floor of the nest where the chicks can feast. If danger should approach in the form of a predator, the attending parent spreads their wings and settles down over the little ones.

There are times, though, when both parents need to leave the next to forage for food. So, for a short time the chicks are alone. No problem, they just fluff up and snuggle together with their beaks and watchful eyes looking out in all directions.

Surely, Mom will return soon. Wait a minute–this isn’t Mom or Dad. Who is this strange  bird who is approaching the nest?

It is a robber, a lazy thief who wants to steal the branches right out from under the chicks while their parents are away. Unbelievable. Where are his scruples? Where is Mom? Suddenly, the chicks rise to the occasion. Facing the intruder they stand and flap their little wings and make as much noise as they can. Every time the stranger’s bill darts forward to steal a stick the chicks respond in unison ready to peck away the thief if necessary. Fortunately, Mom was on her way. In a flash she flew at the intruder scaring him away. Looks like the chicks did a fantastic job of guarding the nest all by themselves, but…

…it sure is good to have Mom back.

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