Beak of Life


A dull thud against the glass kitchen door broke my morning reverie.
Blissfully I had been admiring the daffodils dancing in the breeze.For a second I muttered at the four bull-finches, vexed at their monopolisation of the bird-feeder.
‘Let the others on, you bullies,’ my mind signalled to them. Did they listen?
Three BirdsNot a chance. I espied an eager robin fluttering below the feeder, then with sudden decisiveness he darted to the fence post. My patient gardening buddy, who alas has a long wait until I weed the borders and he can scour for worms left behind.
Then thwack.
Standing by the door I looked down and spotted a little grey-blue bird lying still on its side.
‘A nuthatch,’ my husband told me confidently. ‘Made a bit of a hatchet job there,’ he added, chuckling at his own witticism. I glared at him before examining the bird again.
He moved, ever so slightly, still alive!  His head and body twitched and his beady black eyes stared accusingly at me.  ‘It’s a door, to our house,’ I retorted telepathically, ‘we need those things, doors!’
Another nuthatch flew down to join his friend and nervously he hopped in circles around him.
Braving my silhouette he approached the stricken nuthatch before abruptly leaping upon him. Swiftly he gave his friend the ‘beak of life’. A couple of pecks on his head, then some around the beak of the injured bird.
It was humbling to witness this love of the avian variety.
However soon I became alarmed as the first signs of affection turned to violence. The pecking intensified to vicious jabs at the now seemingly lifeless bird.
I knocked forcefully on the glass and reluctantly the fit nuthatch skittered away to the lawn. There he  stopped and looked at his friend. I too glanced down.
A wonder! The dazed bird wobbled uncertainly on it’s two feet. Would it soon be strong enough to hop around? Was there a chance he could fly away?  I remained hopeful and giving him peace to recover I moved away – after all there was breakfast to prepare.
With the three assorted cereals tipped into their bowls, toast ready, orange juices poured, tea pot overflowing, I cautiously edged towards the door.
Outside on the bird feeder there was the normal feeding frenzy – but on the patio or lawn there was no sign of our two special visitors who caused the morning’s excitement.
Robust and fit enough to fly away; they had departed. A little nuthatch rescued by his fellow friend.
What love, courage and devotion. My heart stilled for moment. Maybe here was a lesson for us all.
To finish a quick message on this special Sunday here in the UK to all Mums out there –  a Happy Mother’s Day to you all and have a thoroughly enjoyable day being spoilt! I am!

12 thoughts on “Beak of Life

  1. Marion

    Lovely story Annika. So touching! What a start of the day both for you and for me now reading it. Thanks dear. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day, you and all the mothers in the UK. Kram

    1. Thank you Marion and so happy you liked the story. I do enjoy watching the birds in the morning but not often it is so exciting. I had a lovely Mother’s Day, spoilt with breakfast and presents then later Buck’s Fizz with dinner made by my son and husband.

  2. Peter R

    Wonderful story. Birds fascinate me; they manage this flying thing far better than we do. I think there is more love and compassion among them than we give them credit for.
    “And Jonathon Livingston Seagull rose with the two star-bright gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky”

    1. First Peter, I the love quote, thank you. Now I want to go and reread the book! Yes, birds are beautifully fascinating and doing dishes is always a pleasure, watching them on the feeder.

  3. Barbara

    Loved the well written story of the birds in your garden Annika. You brought the entire scenerio to life for me….just like the injured bird by his friend. Bravo!
    And a Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all in the UK. 🌹🌻🌺

  4. Mirja

    I couldn’t agree more with Sammy. Wonderful story and what a
    gift for you in the morning.
    Your thoughtful observation and the lesson it gives also warms my heart.
    Loving birds myself the pictures are a treat.

    So go and celebrate your Mother’s Day as will I. And all mothers in U.K

  5. Sammy

    This is a great story Annika! So glad you got to witness such an amazing moment in nature! I really like the pictures and these posts make my day.

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