Protect, Monitor, Maintain: A Lesson From Shelly

Everyone wants to feel safe. If we aren’t protecting, monitoring, and maintaining all of our native songbirds, then we aren’t doing our job as a Bluebird Bed & Breakfast Landlord. To be successful we;

Protect… patrolling the area in which our songbirds live

Monitor… frequently checking on the status of things

Maintain… fixing and making corrections when something goes wrong

One thing I have noticed with the unrest in our world, the songbirds continue on. They are instinctually wired to keep their eyes and ears open to their surroundings in order to survive. It is up to us to continue to learn how to create an environment for our songbirds in which they not only survive, but where they can thrive together.

When I monitor the nest boxes it gives me an insight on how our songbird guests are doing. As I approach a nest box, I scan the skies observing the songbird guests as they gather nest material and hunt for food. I am filled with admiration while watching the cooperation and collaboration taking place. They are only focused on survival but to me it looks like they are participating in a beautiful dance of life.

These songbirds have an intriguing language both audibly and physically. Their voices and movements flow together to create a welcoming song and dance. When I maintain nest boxes, I feel as if the songbirds are wondering if they should invite me to join in on their festivities. They are curious about me, chattering and dive-bombing me, just as I am curious about them.

With all changes and events happening in the world, I find myself feeling disconnected or struggling to keep up. This loss of connection can be restored through the act of caring for each other and caring for nest boxes. I know that as long as the songbirds are connecting with one another and collaborating in order to “keep on keeping on”, that we can do the same. If our songbirds can do it, so can we.

Songbird Blessings to you,

Shelly Sutley



Images by Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds



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Eau Claire, WI

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