Originally written for Instagram, so apologies if you're seeing this twice.

I keep wren houses, and I had announced on IG the chirping of newly hatched chicks a few weeks ago. And...

My wrens didn't make it. Something happened to the first batch of eggs, or the female had difficulty, and her second batch came late. And then they hatched... but it got quiet. Something wasn't right. I thought maybe it was the heat.

Yesterday, I came out to (who I assume was) the female, hanging from the birdhouse, her claw stuck in the nest inside. She was gone. She looked beat up, or maybe she fought to free her leg. I was so heartbroken when I found her, I didn't think to check her for sticky eyes, one of the symptoms of this mystery songbird illness. I was busy pulling her down and laying her to rest on the hill behind me.

Today, I gathered up several gorgeous blooms from my hydrangea in an effort to honor the situation, and also cheer me up. The hydrangea is having a banner year, surprisingly. I did nothing to protect her from the horrible winter we had, and did no spring prep on her at all. And yet, she is prolific in bloom and variety of color.

It helps.

7/23 '21 7 Comments
Oh, Jesus, I'm so sorry.
We reluctantly took down our birdbath and stopped filling our bird feeder, based on the advice of PA Fish & Wildlife. I've noticed that robins and cardinals are looking unhealthy when I see them. They look like their feathers are greasy & dirty.

Did you bury the bird? I read that you should only handle them with disposable gloves, put them in a sealed plastic bag, and dispose of them with your usual trash, because there's a concern that whatever these birdies have could jump species.
No, I used plastic to pick her up and send her to the hill, an area I can't easily walk to. She did look a mess, but I couldn't say if it was grease or from a struggle.
Karen Kuhl 8/9 '21
Usually I'm sad that we can't have bird feeders up in the summer (because BEARS), but this year not so much.
Anne Mollo 7/23 '21
Sorry to hear about the birdies. The hydrangea is lovely.
Thomas Boutell 7/23 '21
The blooms are still alive and going, and bringing such comfort indoors.
Karen Kuhl 8/8 '21
You're such a good soul.

Also, the flowers are lovely.
Anne Mollo 7/23 '21
Same to you, Anne.

They are a little piece of my heart.
Karen Kuhl 8/8 '21