Every March, house finches build a nest on top of my front door wreath.
The mother usually lays three or four pale blue eggs. The babies fledge and fly away all too soon.
In 2020, when COVID-19 struck the face of the Earth, the finches built their nest but laid no eggs. I don’t know why; it was one more thing to mourn.
Last year, the finches returned and laid five eggs—a record! Making up for the previous year? I wondered.
And so it is March again, and again there’s a finch nest on my front door. These seem to appear overnight, as magically as mushrooms in the lawn.
And on Sunday, there was an egg:
My soul rejoiced.
The birds are a marvel; their songs are a marvel. They lift my spirits immeasurably. Every nest is different; this one has lovely down and fiber running through it. So soft. Last year’s was very green. One nest in years past was trimmed in tiny flowers. Finch dads are mixed media artisans; they collect the materials. This papa seems especially considerate and nurturing.
So, as an annual bird Franna, I check on my grand-eggs daily until my tiny pink grand-finches appear. The eggs hatch one day at a time, for they are laid one day at a time, usually in the mornings between 7:00-9:00.
Here, Friends, is where the plot thickens…
As of today (I am writing this on Monday afternoon), there remains just the one little blue egg.
I am concerned.
I know, go ahead and tell me all the things about birds and Nature knowing how to manage perfectly well, but… it’s so cold and windy here… I think I’ve heard the finches, but I haven’t seen the mother on the nest incubating her egg yet. Or laying any more. Why? Will there even BE a baby bird, or…
I know, sometimes things happen. Sometimes we get to know the what and the why; sometimes we don’t.
Meanwhile… I keep thinking of you, Little Blue Egg, all cold and alone…which drives me to look things up; I have learned that an egg can be viable for maybe two weeks before a mother incubates it.
this obsession with a bird
—this one egg, really—
wish I could do more than wait
for Nature to rule its fate
—Stay tuned, y’all.
with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March