Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mama Drama

This will not be interesting to most people. But to me, someone who spends a lot of her time staring out the kitchen window, it's fascinating. The chickadee (black and white head) has taken it upon herself to start feeding the baby wrens herself. The mama wren (brown with eye stripe) shoos her away as much as possible, but the chickadee continues to return, undaunted. I imagined how this might feel for the wren--what if, for instance, my neighbor continually came over and tried to feed my son? I'd be unnerved, if not furious.

It leaves me with a lot of questions. Did the chickadee lose her own babies and is trying to conpensate her loss with someone else's? Is it simply instinctual to feed hungry babies, no matter whose they are?

My pancakes are burning while thinking about this. Mama drama update to come.

1 Things not left unsaid:

Mariah said...

Interesting. Mama drama. Makes me think of our cat. We got her from a shelter about five years ago and part of the deal was that she had to be spayed, so the shelter handled taking her to the vet and having it done. They later told me that the vet discovered that she was already pregnanat when he opened her up. Obviously, by that point there was nothing he could do (I'm not sure he would have saved the kittens even if he could have anyway) so he finished the surgery and she never had her kittens. For months she would seek out small things and carry them around the house, moving them from place to place in groups. Rolled up socks, my collection of Boyd's Bears, etc. Things that are about the size of a kitten! I wonder if that was some instinctive need to care for her babies that she never had. Some hormone, some instinct, something built into her that she had to do. She stopped doing it after several months, but occasionally, even now, she will carry something around in her mouth for a while before losing interest.