In the early hours of morning I watched as a pair of Bluebirds investigated one of my Bluebird houses. I’ve tried for years to attract bluebirds to my garden, but without success. The habitat is right, the houses are right, but I just can’t seem to get them to nest.
It’s not that I lack for birds in the garden. I have many feeders out for many types of birds, great habitat and protection in the garden, and ponds full of water. I even have some Sharp-shinned and Coopers hawks that feed occasionally on the birds that feed at the feeders.
But I can’t ever attract Bluebirds to my houses.
Until this morning.
I saw the pair investigating the house, and while they flew off a bit when the dog was out wandering in the yard, they stayed close and kept their eye on the house. I had high hopes that maybe, finally, I’d have some nesting Bluebirds to watch.
As I type this later in the day, the pair hasn’t returned at all. Maybe they didn’t like the sound of the English House Sparrows that congregate on the other side of my house, or maybe they didn’t like that a dog wandered in the yard. Maybe the house just didn’t have the curb appeal they were looking for.
But they seem to have rejected my house, and that makes my sad.
Funny how this sort of thing works in my mind. I “want” something, and will go to great lengths to make it so. I’ve admittedly got a pretty strong will, (a character flaw I recognize), and will go to great lengths to force the desire of that will into being.
My will is an extension of my ego, and that ego and its will aren’t always right. It’s one of the deadly flaws of humanity, that we seem to feel deep inside our minds that our will is the way things are supposed to be. It’s how we’re able to create G-d in our own image over and over again.
But I’m pretty sure we’ve got that upside down in our mind. We don’t get to be the decider of the order of things. We’re just part of the order of things, albeit a pretty intrusive part.
I want to watch Bluebirds in my garden, but there’s something about the location or the surroundings of the houses I’ve put out that the Bluebirds don’t like. They’re not rational creatures who analyze their way through this problem with logic – they’re instinctive little guys who’re working from the collective memory of hundreds of generations of Bluebirds before them. And that collective memory and instinct pushes them to look elsewhere after they stop in and gander at the houses I’ve so lovingly and willfully put out for them to consider.
I’ll keep hoping for a pair of Bluebirds to call my backyard home someday. Maybe I’ll try new locations next year. And who knows – they might be back still this year, or another pair might take a look. After all, my realtor friends tell me it only takes the right buyer…
But for today, I’m enjoying the little lesson they’ve helped me see. While I might still want Bluebirds in my backyard, it’s apparently not what they need right now, and maybe not what I need right now either.
After all, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, I hear you might just get what you need…