Lesson Eight: We are all connected

“All things are connected like the blood that unites us. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” – Chief Seattle

Baby birds sitting in the nest on top of palm leaf

The other day, I got to be a hero to two baby birds. I was outside getting into my car and the community association gardener was busy cutting leaves from the palm tree next door to our property. As I was pulling away to go to choir rehearsal, I noticed the gardener had cut off one of the leaves and it landed squarely in our back yard patio.

When I came home after dark, I picked up the palm leaf to take it to the garden waste bin and noticed something small and grey on the leaf. I looked more closely and saw that it was two baby birds. They were so small that their eyes weren’t even open yet. “Oh, oh,” I thought. “I can’t take these birds to the waste bin.” Once inside, I fired up the computer and looked up what you are supposed to do about birds falling out of the nest. It said to put them within earshot of where they fell and wait for the mother to come back. I left them where they fell, since this was within sight and earshot of the palm tree they fell from.

The next morning I looked out on to the patio, and saw a full-grown Eurasian collared dove sitting on our fence. It was looking down at the birds but not doing anything to feed or care for them. After a while, it flew away.

By this time, I had gotten back on the internet and found a bird rescue facility about 45 minutes away. I called them to see if I could drop off the birds and they said they would take them. The woman said a lot more than that, but she was speaking Spanish very rapidly so I was only catching every few words. I think she was trying to give me directions but I thought I had this covered with Google maps.

I found a black rubber container shaped like a big basket and put a towel in it. With the help of my husband, Rick, we took the birds out of the nest and put them in the container. I drove to Murcia, where the center was. But once I got there, I realized the place was in a massive park and finding the rescue center within it could be a problem.

In the bucket ready to be transported to the rescue center

So I walked up to the first person I saw and showed her the birds and asked her where the center was. She told me it was further up the road. I noticed that she had about a dozen or so young people with her all wearing the same uniform. I thought nothing more about this but then heard about six or seven people running up behind me. This made me nervous so I kept walking. They didn’t say anything intelligible to me. It seemed like they might have been developmentally disabled young adults. Finally, I stopped, bewildered as to what they wanted. But it then became obvious that they wanted to see the baby birds for themselves. So I let everyone have a look, waited for them to walk away, and then continued up the hill to the center.

Once there, a kind young man took the birds from me and asked me some questions about how and where I found the babies. In Spanish, the birds are called tortora turcas. In English, they are known as Eurasian collared doves. The birds had opened their eyes by now and I told the man they looked hungry. He said, “the vets will take care of them and feed them. Once they are big enough, they will be set free.” “Oh, joy,” I thought. “Thank you, little birds, for giving me the opportunity to save you.”

On the drive home, I wondered why, of all the palm leaves that had fallen, just one would land in our yard and it alone would have tiny grey birds on it, sitting quietly beside each other in a straw nest. Did someone up there know I was a friend of the birds and would welcome the chance to be their savior?

Life Lesson: If you have the chance to help any living thing, don’t hesitate to do so. We (humans, animals, plants) are all connected to each other. We are all responsible for the living things we encounter on this beautiful web of life we call earth.

The Bird Rescue Center in Murcia, Spain

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