Two families, four babies in one house

I woke up to bright sunlight streaming through my window.

Published: 07th December 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2018 01:03 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

I woke up to bright sunlight streaming through my window. I came out of my bed and heard birds chirp at the front veranda of my home. The sound was melodious. There were two sunbirds (thenchittu in Tamil), which were less than 10 cm long. The male was brightly coloured, and the female was olive above and yellow to buff below. The two birds were communicating vocally. 

An hour later, they started collecting bark, leaf strands and silk threads. They soon shaped them to form a nest there. Birds usually avoid forming nests at places that humans visit regularly. But they started to make a comfortable nest on the wall of our veranda. My neighbours told me, “If a bird makes a nest in your place, it is a sign of good luck.” 

The birds completed a tiny hanging nest within three days. It had a knot-like structure and was attached to the wall. I thought to myself that the birds had chosen me for protecting their eggs and young birds to develop, and felt proud. After two days, the female bird laid two eggs and started sitting on them. It was a full-time job for both the parent birds to keep the eggs warm. They alternated their responsibilities for the hatching process, and safely came back to the nest in my home after finding their food in daytime. 

My spouse was then around nine months pregnant and carried two little souls in her body. I felt the birds might have the same feelings and emotions as us when they incubated the eggs. Then my wife gave birth to twin girls. The babies smiled in their sleep, ten little fingers and ten perfect toes, filling our hearts with love that overflowed. 

I came back home a day after the delivery. There were many chirping sounds coming from the nest; two baby birds had hatched out of the eggs. The baby birds were born with small feathers and chirped, with their heads out of the nest. The parent birds fed the hungry babies nectar, insects and spiders regularly. The young birds were fully feathered within ten days and had short wings and tails. They couldn’t fly yet, but they could walk, hop and flutter.

A week later, they all left the nest. As ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson has said, “Birds are indicators of the environment.” They were a guest with me for just five weeks and not only left me their own nest, but also sweet memories. 

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