I’m curious to know whether or not Goldfinches migrate, as they seem to return to the olive tree on my terrace every year. Last year the tree was used twice by the birds. It’s quite a responsibility having a nest of vulnerable little chicks just outside your window, especially if there are nasty magpies and crows about – but two successive broods of tiny chirping balls of fluff in one season can make life positively stressful.
Although one baby bird stayed in the nest until it grew so fat it was almost bigger than its temporary home, the most nail-biting time was when the chicks first left the nest. Most alarming of all, was the moment when one of the tiny birds, newly out of its nest and still being trained to fly, got stuck in a corner, behind a big plant pot - unable to fly upwards and over the glass screening around the terrace.
Several other birds (possibly parents, or from the same family) were equally distressed, but also unable to coax the bird out from behind the pot. It was particularly worrying that the apartment next door had a couple of cats. Eventually, the poor little bird was unceremoniously prodded to safety with the help of a long bamboo stick and then carefully lifted up and thrown into the air, whereupon a protective flock of fellow finches flew out of nowhere to surround the bird and encourage it on its way – an extraordinary act of nature and love that brought spontaneous tears of joy to my eyes.