I checked my last box in the Forgotten Land late last week. This was the view I had every visit prior but I knew by this visit, the young birds would have fledged. I was excited to add these results to my growing final list.
Well, this is what I saw upon arrival. Can you imagine what I suddenly felt?
Confusion? Yes. Sadness? Yes. Anger? Yes. I really cannot say for certain what happened, but I was sad for the possible outcome of those young birds, and the more I thought about it as I looked at this broken piece of wood, I could only come to the conclusion that someone broke the box off the t-bar, smashing it perhaps.
I searched the ground, kicking my feet through the grass, looking for any sign of the box, or what was left of it. Nothing. I was really upset now and even more confused. What? Why? How? It's not supposed to end like this!
I went for a walk through the area. I needed to back away from this and calm myself. I scoped out other bird houses and the variety of species around me, most with young birds.
I took in the butterflies too, like this Question Mark.
Can you see why it was given this name?
With a slightly clearer head and emotions cooled off, I started to head back. I wasn't sure if I was just going to keep going back to the truck or have another look around. I knew I would be looking but how hard, that was yet to be determined. As I neared the location from the other end, it is when I saw the box.
Another mix of emotions now. There was no time to acknowledge any of them though. I had to get to that box. First view, doesn't look too bad off.
Might as well build the suspense to what I found.
It's seen it's last days now, that's for sure.
I was happy to not find any little bird bodies inside. The nest was also relatively intact despite what it went through.
It easily pulled apart in my hands. I'd like to think it served it's purpose for one last time. I'm not sure what that black larva is. It was wiggling around pretty good. I put the box back in the tree, letting that unknown creature continue it's life journey.
So, what do I make of this? What do you make of this? Did someone knock the box down? Was that wood already split and finally came apart? It's nice to know someone who walked by noticed it and had the care and concern enough to pick it up and set it in a nearby tree. Proof once again that setting up these nest boxes and then forgetting about them is something that should not be. This box is one of many in the area that should have come down before this season started. I'd like to think that with how the nest looked and no bird remains of any kind, that the 5 young birds fledged. It's like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" and I'm going with a positive ending. It's not because I want to add to the successes and not to the downfalls. Without any valid proof to go either way, I'm choosing the better ending. What's your take?