by Dianna Flett

We have a  bird who lives in our garage. She moved in about two years ago during the spring season and built her nest in storage shelves against the back wall. Over the last couple of years she’s brought me such joy as the seasons pass. We don’t see or hear her much in the summer. I am sure she’s out galavanting with her friends when it’s warm and easy to find her food. Then as the months start to cool we begin to see telltale signs of her back in the garage. Sometimes she drops some nest material on top of the car, or we see her fly out ahead of us as we leave the garage.

At first I didn’t understand what was going on. I usually leave the garage door up during the day so I didn’t notice she was flying in and settling her space.  After she laid her eggs there was no doubt she was in charge out there. As an anxious momma bird, she’d often dive bomb the boys as they were leaving for school. They learned to quicken their step and watch for her.

After some investigation, we found her nest. It was high but visible. When the days turned to weeks we could hear the peeps of the hatched babies. Now momma bird was flying in with supper. Her babies reminded me of how the boys looked at the window when I came home with Chick-fil-A: mouths wide open and craning for momma to hurry and feed them.

It has been a joy to experience our friendship with this little bird. We’ve come up with a way to communicate so she can tell us when she needs us. If the garage is down during the day, I may see her sitting on my window sill with her mouth full of some delicious offering for her kids. She hops back and forth until I open the garage door. If I miss her at the window she jumps over to the railing on the back porch. It’s longer there and she hops up and down the length of it until I notice her.  A couple of times she came into the house. She’d flit around and I’d run around until I was able to get her out the door again.

Since this is the second season our relationship has matured. Now, when she is in the garage in the early morning and wants out, she starts singing to me. I’m a pretty early riser so I hear her first songs when I’m in my kitchen making coffee. If I happen to sleep in, she eventually gets so loud I can hear her from my bedroom above the garage.

She sings until I crack open the garage door, then she zooms out, and I put the door back down.

My husband wasn’t pleased when she first came to visit us. He’s quite proud of the fact that he can park his car in the garage and he wasn’t thrilled his car might be soiled by this bird. He entertained the idea of taking out the nest until he saw how horrified I was at the idea of kicking our momma bird out into the cold.  One look at my face and he never said anything again.

This morning I slept in. Steve was the first one up. It was about 7:15 and I heard the garage door go up slightly. Then without too much pause it went back down. I smiled as I came into the kitchen.

“She sure was loud today,” I said to my hubby of 32 years.

“She sure was,” Steve said.

I smiled at the thought of my husband hearing her sing in the garage, and letting her out so she could tend to her duties.

His sweet gesture to support my little winged friend because of me reminded me of how strong our own nest has become.