Photo and Commentary ©2020 by Darren Milam
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Let me start off by saying, clearly my bird shots are not going to be anywhere close to what Robert Howson presents on our Tuesday edition of the Daily Photo Parable. With that in mind, don’t focus on the quality of the image but instead the cuteness of these little babies.

Several weeks back, I kept seeing this tiny little yellowish and gray/brown bird dart in and out of our front door area. I did some investigating and identified it as a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. I realized that, for the second year in a row, it was building a nest on top of a gutter downspout, directly under the eaves of our garage roof line. The great thing about this, it’s 6 feet away from our front door and only about 3 feet off our deck. This makes for prime viewing every time we walk in and out our front door. Not sure the mama flycatcher likes all the foot traffic, but it’s a protected spot and out of the elements.

Over the weeks, we’ve been able to see the little ones hatch, open their eyes and start to grow their fluffy feathers. The first image is of all four, squished in this tiny nest – eyes open and mouths usually calling for food. The second image was when one of the little ones, either thought it was time to fly or got pushed out of the nest. We heard the chirping – asking for food – but that wasn’t unusual except for the location of the sound. I went outside and saw it was all the way off our deck – had to maneuver 6 steps in total and about 20 feet of decking. It was out in the open, exposed to the elements and the watchful eyes of hawks, eagles, and any other predator. Without thinking, I coaxed it onto a piece of cardboard and attempted to get it back into the nest. Would you believe it – as soon as it was near the nest, onto the deck below it went. I snapped this image of it – directly below the nest – as I thought I may not see it again. I attempted one last time for the nest and it stayed!

When I came back in the house, I did some research and realized I may have interfered. What I was able to find in the way of guidance was – if the bird is at the “not so cute phase” (no feathers, eyes still closed, etc.) you can attempt to get it back in the nest. If it’s cute and fluffy, you should leave it where it is – most likely it’s trying out its wings and ready to move on. The idea is, the mama is still going to come and feed the little one, still care for it, until it’s truly ready to take off altogether.

Ironically, this research made me think of ME. There are plenty of times when I see a problem or something I need to fix in my life and I jump in and attempt to take care of it myself. Of course I know what’s best for me – right? Wrong. When I/we see things in our lives needing to be fixed, the best thing to do is leave it and ask God to help us. We may THINK we can fix the issue by ourselves, we may THINK we are ready to move on, but we most assuredly need God to come to our rescue. We need Him to feed us, to nurture us. There are plenty of things out there, ready to devour us and our only protection is our Savior.