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Birds on My Brain

Every year, right outside our apartment, little sparrows make a nest in a hole in the neighboring building. While this may not thrill my neighbors, I adore it. The mama and daddy sparrow spend weeks finding the perfect bits of twigs, twine, and straw to make a cozy home. If we dare to sit outside, the birds will swoop around us, angrily chirping, dissuading us from getting any closer. Then, quite suddenly, one day our balcony is filled with very faint, but distinct, peeping sounds. The parent birds switch into overdrive, flying in a constant loop of searching for grubs and returning to sate the tiny throats calling out for more. At some point, the babies begin to peek out of the nest, tiny, dinosaur-looking heads eying the world below. Even when they learn to fly, they stick close to home for most of the summer, the whole family squishing into the once spacious hole at dusk.

These simple little birds are a part of my summer tradition. I peek at them from inside of the apartment so they won't see me and become alarmed. I watch them as they grow and learn to fly from the nest to the branch, from the branch to the tree, and from the tree to the world. And in the fall, when they fly away, I feel as though it is only right that summer now come to an end.

But this year, the birds didn't come.

I feel sick actually writing the words. Where are they? Were they new birds every year? Were they the previous year's babies, all grown up? Why aren't they nesting here this year? What has gone wrong??

I was feeling especially despondent about the birds yesterday morning when I got dressed. I had wasted a good five minutes that morning, peering into the little hole for signs of life to no avail. So when it came time to dress for the day, I ditched my regularly scheduled outfit and put on the brightest, most summertime dress I could find. Yes, I perked up. They're sparrows for goodness' sake! It's not the end of the world! But I might have sprinkled some birdseed out on the balcony, just in case...

Dress: Helen Wang (Consigned, Second Time Around)
Cardigan: H&M
Shoes: Modcloth
Necklace: StyleFixx
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


  1. Ramon Ramon6/02/2011

    They will come soon, I'm sure of it. They were chasing us the other night.

  2. i hope your birdies come back! hopefully your fabulous dress will attract them, & some bird seed or a feeder wouldn't hurt either! :)


  3. It will be sad if they don't come back . Hope they do. Your comments button is working again- thankfully!

  4. OMG...this is such a fun photo shoot!! I love your dress and the hydrogenate such a lovely touch!!


  5. love this dress!!!

  6. @Kavery, Marina, Brittany Leigh Thanks all! We've put out a feeder, which my cats enjoy watching. I hope it attract some birds to the nest spot!

  7. Sending good sparrow thoughts your way. P.S. while at the San Diego Wild Animal Park we observed two sets of bird families...nesting opposite of each other. One set had a much larger abode, lots of fancy twigs and moss and such. The other family (or shall I say wife bird) spent a good deal of time squawking at her husband, I imagine she was saying "But dear, look at what the Jones' have done with their place! I WANT moss curtains!" haha

  8. @AlexaOh my gosh, that's amazing!I wonder what goes on their little brains! I saw a nature show one time (Planet Earth?) about these birds in the tropics somewhere who build these ELABORATE nests with flowers, colorful bits of plastic, shiny bits of glass, anything they can find. And they get the nest all set up, and then the female birds fly around and check out all the nests. They pick the make with the best nest as a mate. I love it!

  9. Aww, that's sad that they didn't come. I love birds (when they don't poop on me). Such a sign of life and watching the parents protect their young just reminds me that they are not that different then us. Love this outfit, the print is very bright and cheery! Hope it helped your mood

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