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Five Eyes Opened

Amazing how tiny bird nests are for the babies that have to fit in them once hatched and plumping up. Today's photo taken this morning shows the first time the eyes on these House Finch nestlings have opened. Take a look at those five eyes (one for each chick) and what do you see? Looking into the eyes of animals somehow connects me to their spirit or soul. For sure, wild animals have different consciousness than mine, but I nearly always have experienced the animal looking back at me, taking me in. It is a curious, and powerful experience.

House Finch nestlings opened their eyes for the first time. (Click photo to view larger).What I see in these birds eyes, freshly opened to the world they now inhabit, is a nearly blank slate. They are just beginning to gather information through the sense of sight. Their tiny bird brains will soon begin to learn about flight, finding food, memorizing patterns of the neighborhood vegetation and structures and objects. They will start to understand and associate a sense of time, or more precisely, the rhythm of the day.

Soon they will jostle each other in that tiny nest as they grow too big for it. At the moment, they need each other, and so sweetly cooperate in a warm huddle. Hungry, their opened beaks will point upwards waiting for mother finch to feed them. How vulnerable can you get? And how tremendous is the effort of the mother, from nest building, to incubating the eggs, to feeding them once hatched, and to successfully teach her chicks to fly and feed themselves.

I can relate to these birds, having grown up as one of seven children stuffed into two small bedrooms. My parents room was even smaller. For many years, we had one bathroom. As we all grew up, the place got even smaller, and we siblings jostled a bit as well. Eventually, we all fledged successfully, too.

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