(Originally published on the blog here 4 years ago, the little birds are building their nest again and I thought to revisit this piece as I don’t think I can say it any better than I already did.)

Every year, outside our bedroom windows, pairs of little red house finches fuss at each other as they build their nest. The springtime chitter in the nearby tree is familiar to me now. One year they’d build on the west side of the porch and the next the east. They like the ledge on top of the column under the roof. We get to peer at them through the windows as the babies hatch and fly away.

But for the past several years, their little nests won’t stay up. I find them on the porch floor with the teeny tiny eggs splattered. So sad.

So this year, when we saw the industrious finch couple build their humongous nest in one day, I thought, finally, this couple’s gonna make it happen. Although the “Darwin Awards” are a parody of those beings who guarantee their own extinction, the actual Darwinian Theory is that the best of each species will pass their best traits on to the next generation.

red house-finch on Shalavee.com

And then, two days ago, the nest was up there and then it wasn’t. I came in the bedroom to get dressed and I could see my husband’s dismay. “It was just there”, he said in disbelief. He’d just pointed it out to our son. There lay that huge nest on the porch floor as the bird couple argued and twittered, flying back and forth from where it was supposed to be to where it actually was.

red-billed-firefinch-pair on Shalavee.com

My husband wondered if he should go get a ladder and put it back up. I envisioned the ladder precariously balanced against the little overhang and knew that probably would be a Darwin Award winning choice.

We felt guilty because, after last years scrambled egg tragedy, we’d pondered putting up an itty bitty guard rail to prevent the nest from scooting off again. But previous birds had made do and figured out how to work on the flat spots. (Husband theorized this year that maybe they needed to poop onto the bottom to cement it down. That or mud.) Maybe there’s a grander scheme at play here and we need to keep our hands out of it. Maybe they knew the eggs they laid wouldn’t do well. Or maybe seeing my family’s ghostly faces peering out the windows at them scared the finch family so badly, they realized this was not the ideal place to raise a family after all.

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