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Birds and the Circle of Life


I shuddered. I recognized that sound.

It was so loud it made me jump right up out of my chair and I went running to the back porch to see if the worst had indeed happened. And it had.  In spite of taking every precaution to avoid window collisions, underneath the window pane, on top of the chip bark below, lay the tragedy.  The robin was beautiful.  She took a few short and final breaths before flying off to bird heaven, and I shed a tear.

I always shed a tear when I lose one of the precious birds that comes to visit our sanctuary. After all, they are only responding to my beck and call.  They can’t refuse an invitation to dine at our feeders or drink from our watering holes.  And my husband has to remind me time and time again that with a habitat like ours, we’re likely to have some casualties.  Logically, yes I know that.  Emotionally, it still breaks my heart.  And so I ALWAYS shed a tear.

“I’ll remove it for you when I get back from town,” he said as he left for his appointment.

I wondered… maybe removing the bird wasn’t the best idea. Maybe I need to let the circle of life play out a little bit.  After all, our bird sanctuary is also a wildlife habitat, and I wondered what wildlife might benefit from our dearly departed.  So, I did some research and discovered that there are many species of wildlife that will consume a bird that has already, shall we say, expired including:

  • feral cats
  • rats
  • foxes
  • coyotes
  • some squirrels and chipmunks
  • carrion-eating bird species like crows, seagulls, vultures
  • hawks and owls

I also discovered that most rodents are really omnivores, and will eat insects or meat whenever they can get it.

The reality of the freezing temperatures and scarce natural water sources swirled around in my mind. Winter can be harsh enough for the wildlife and so I decided to let come what may.  I’ll leave the sweet girl where she is and trust that God will use her to provide for some other creature in need… one with a hearty and grateful appetite.

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