Bird Doula

There’s a peregrine nest on the top floor of a building in my city. The Audubon society set it up with a perch and some pea gravel and three live cameras. I check in on it every once in a while when I remember, and when ever we drive by the building I crane my neck to see if one of the birds is hanging out on the perch.

These days, both birds are hanging out up there more often because apparently the female peregrine is on the verge of laying an egg, or two. It’s fascinating to spy on these birds as they scoot the pea gravel into a bowl shape and walk around the nest in circles. I feel bad though, like I am creeping on a very private event. Sometimes I catch one or both of them staring into the camera and even though I am anthropomorphizing, I wonder if they had a choice would they choose to be reality stars.

I watch them both, envious of what looks like comfy striped pants they are both wearing and then I get grossed out when they pluck and dismember a tiny bird for a snack. Nature is amazing, but it is also goopy and bloody and a little elastic.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 11.01.04 AM
Can I get you something, dear? A bird carcass? More tiny rocks?

She’s just waiting now, maybe her body is sending her a little signal that the eggs are just about ready, or maybe she’s just relaxing out of the wind for a bit. I love watching birds, their steady cam heads, their beaks, they’re little reminders of dinosaurs and I am in awe of their speed and power. But I also wonder if some birds bad a being birds? Are there some that don’t sing very well, or are lousy at flying? It seems common to assume all birds are good at bird stuff, but what if there are a few that other birds think are annoying and maybe pitiful?

While I try to get the inside scoop on local bird gossip, I’ll also be sending happy thoughts to this great big, beautiful, fast, deadly bird and hope her new brood will get top marks in flying and killing.

(P.S. She is now chirping like mad at her mate who just arrived. IS THIS IT? IS IT HAPPENING?)

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