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Lessons learnt in nature’s gift

By Mel Perkins

‘Tis the season to be hospitable, to be kind, to notice what others need.

A pair of blackbirds have taken it upon themselves to build a nest under the roof of my pergola, right outside my laundry door.

Blackbirds are not native birds to Victoria. In fact, they are classified as pests for a number of reasons.

Rumour has it, they were imported in the days of early white settlement because of their tuneful voices, and they certainly are lovely to listen to.

Yet, there is a struggle in me to allow space for those who by their very nature and presence cause the local species of birds to compete harder for nesting sites, shelter, and food.

I have been working very hard to change my garden to habitat for local wildlife, using plants native to the area.

And yet, I found I simply don’t have the heart to remove the nest after I was able to correctly identify ‘the owners’ – by which time there were already two eggs in the nest.

Maybe it comes from a desire to see new life flourish after the struggles of the past couple of years. Maybe I just can’t disturb the vulnerable eggs. And so, I’ve even put up extra bits of shade for ‘mumma’ blackbird so she isn’t so hot as she sits on her nest.

Together, we wait with anticipation for what will come to birth; they have these four eggs now so far (pictured), and, I admit it, I’m somewhat in awe about it all.

Together, we will protect the vulnerable new ones from potential predators and harm; I will need to keep my dogs away from the fledglings.

And somehow together, we will continue to negotiate this sometimes difficult place of making room for others.

Mel Perkins is eLM’s Lay Leadership Development Co-ordinator

Mel Perkins

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