I have a new roommate. She has no name; for I haven’t named her, but she is a mother. From what I see, she is a single other, like me. But then again, I could be wrong. I haven’t asked, and I don’t think she will tell.
You see, my new roommate is a puertorican tortola. (Tortola cardosantera, Zenaida aurita.) A type of bird. She has fashioned her nest in my “playeras.” Playeras are beautiful tropical flowers. I have a few growing in a flower box in my balcony.
I noticed the nest a few weeks ago when I saw two eggs amongst the flattened flowers. Then she began to spend longer and longer in the nest until it seemed they must have hatched, but she covered the eggs completely and I couldn’t tell. Then one day I noticed a tiny beak looking thing from beneath her feathers. I wondered if it could be a pigeon and as an answer to my question, it moved.
It suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t seen her leave the nest in several days. Probably since the eggs hatched. Poor thing, she must be starving (I thought). Of course not! The mother bird is not stupid. She knows she needs to be in good health in order to take care of her babes, so she must be getting food somehow.
But the mother bird can’t take her babies with her when she goes to get food. There are no bird seats available! She has no daddy (as far as I can tell) to bring food, she has no nanny or delivery service; no mother to come save the day… Then how does she get food? She has no choice. She has to get it herself, and she has to leave her babies alone to do it.
How horrible it must be to have to leave your babies all alone and just pray they are still there when you come back! The poor thing. She is a brave and courageous mother. Of course, she is also smart. She builds her nest up high and sheltered. So far, her choice has proved fruitful. Her babies are safe. However, I still haven’t seen her leave… When?
Then one day, I saw them; the pigeons. It was 6:15am. First light. They huddled together to keep warm. And of course, they were alone.
I can only feel admiration for this mother bird. This single mother of two lives completely in the service of her offspring. She guards them, feeds them and nurtures them at all times. She leaves, only to provide sustenance. She does what she must do, however difficult. A mother to admire…
It’s been a few weeks now and the pigeons are full of feathers. Mother bird has begun to act a bit strange. She coos (or whatever it is pigeons do) and walks around the floor. I think she is encouraging her babies to fly, but I’m not sure. I will keep you posted about my new roommate.