Once again this spring, Mama Robin decided to build her nest and raise her family on the underside of our back deck. I’ve never minded in the past; I have always been respectful and left her little family alone. Still, she hates it when we sit on our deck and scolds us whenever she wants to feed her babies.
However, the past two summers her behavior has changed. Instead of just scolding us, she decided to add a further tactic to scare us off. She started swooping down in front of us. She’s taken complete ownership of our deck; according to her, we are the intruders.
It startled me the first time it happened. What is she doing? I’m not trying to hurt her babies. Keeping an eye on her while concentrating on my reading was a bit disconcerting. She kept swooping me until finally I left, conceding my rights to her. Since I’m a mother and grandmother, I can relate to her protectiveness. But, on the other hand, it frustrates me because there is such a short period of time we can actually sit on the deck and enjoy the weather and fresh air.
The next day I decided to ignore her, hoping she’d get used to me and give up her swooping. She didn’t. Each time she swooped I got more irate and began to yell at her and wave my arms. I thought maybe I could scare her into leaving me alone. Nope—that didn’t work either. I came into the house to find my husband standing at the window with an amused smile on his face. Feeling completely ridiculous, I quit doing battle with Mama Robin.
But I vowed, when her babies were gone the nest was coming down. I saw no action for several days and figured the babies had all flown away. I got a stick and knocked the nest down. It was empty, except for one blue egg that had cracked open from the fall.
Oh no, I just murdered a baby robin! Normally I’m a bird lover and am always happy to see the robins return each spring. I felt like a hypocrite because I only wanted to enjoy them on my terms.
I apologized to the Lord for destroying part of his creation and also to Mama Robin the next time I saw her. It makes me sad to see her now. But that doesn’t mean I want her to build her nests under my deck!
Ah, the inconsistencies of our human spirit. We want to do the right thing, but we also want our way–and we don’t like to be inconvenienced. It makes me glad Jesus lived as a man and understands our human nature. Even though he never sinned (or killed a baby robin!), he knows our weaknesses. And he forgives.