A Wattlebird Tale

Joy and sorrow are so closely related. I find one is generally waiting behind the other. Recently we have had the joy of watching a pair of Wattlebirds build their nest amongst the frail twigs of a tree quite close to our deck. That woven wonder survived rivals, storms and the annual Summer moulting of the Leopard tree's leaves. Three wide mouth chicks emerged, who were doted on by their red eyed father. Their cheeping sounds were the background music of our celebrations, until one morning we routinely observed the nest and it was empty. To my dismay two chicks were missing, and the third was stranded behind our holidaying neighbours fence, not yet old enough to fly. I wonder what my other neighbours would have thought had they seen me climbing the fence at 6.30am in my pyjamas to rescue the flustered chick?

I managed to successfully climb a ladder with chick in hand, returning it to the branch that held the nest, only to watch it unsuccessfully attempt flight soon after and land in the middle of the road. Rescued once more, I got the tiny bird closer to the nest and it seemed content to stay safely on it's branch. I checked in on the little one my five year old daughter appropriately named Cheep throughout the rest of the day. The parents kept their distance the whole while, until eventually the father fed the stranded bird, bringing tears to my eyes.

What joy and sorrow there is to be found when one's life is interwoven with the lives of native wildlife. The next morning the nest was empty and Cheep was nowhere to be found. 

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