Last spring a Christmas miracle nest materialized on our lazily-not-taken-down front door wreath, eggs and all. Once we realized this natural treasure grew despite our unintended disturbing interruptions, we used a different entrance to the house. When the noise behind our door was not as I thought, the cheerful feeding of babies but fucking grackles attacking the pair our hearts were broken. As devastating as when year round planted Christmas tree on our deck on 57th street with a Robin’s nest fell over, first without eggs and then heartbreakingly a second time with. How fragile nature is and powerless the well intended powerful are.

Our finch story is far from over. Mel and Ida (or maybe Peter and Ida) are back. Once again we were too lazy to take the wreath down. Protecting them again feels like a Sisyphian task. The bird feeder that attracted them has also brought back the grackles and blue jays. The neighbors were confused by caution tape we put on our front steps maybe cause it’s a pandemic. The Mylar strips or aluminum foil that might scare the predators could discourage our finch friends according to our local birding expert at Feed the Birds on S. Riverside.

Why they would attack each other perplexes me. (Didn’t they see Planet of the Apes?) Protecting birds may not be our duty even if they are our closest link to the dinosaurs. Our attempts however valiant including once trying to save baby grackles from a fallen nest have had limited success. Audubon, thought to be birds greatest advocate, killed almost 400 specimens of the species he painted. Whatever the case, these Finches have demonstrated a fortitude that is inspiring.

The move from 57th street where son #1 was made to the burbs was precipitated by a bizarre piece of unmarked mail whose contents burned my eyes. The subsequent poison control investigation included street and subway closure beyond comprehension. After 9/11 the move to 53rd street felt like it was too close to the President’s, at the time, hotel choice.

All I know is we are still here and our birds came back. Life is fragile. Handle with care. Care even if it might hurt.