Dr Abe V Rotor
Brown shrike (Lanius cristatus)
What a discovery!
First time my grandchildren peeped into a bird nest.
"Lolo Papa," they chorused in awe and joy
to see a pair of eggs, "but where is the mother bird?"
A bird swooped over our heads shrieking
against our bold intrusion;
It was her home next to our bedroom,
only a wall separated her world and our own.
Strange neighbors, stranger to each other;
to his or her own the primal rule;
one day dainty notes rose from the nest,
familiar to Mackie and Markus once in their crib.
Proud and happy the mother bird was as she sang,
bringing food to her offspring,
other birds - and children came to this scene
of love and care, awe and wonder.
One morning the nest was silent. Deserted.
It just hung on the thorny Limonsito by the window.
Days passed, a familiar bird came with a flock.
"Look, Lolo Papa, Look!"
I felt like a child again.
Brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) is both transient and migratory. It is related to the red-backed shrike (L. collurio) and isabelline shrike (L. isabellinus) and a number of subspecies, thus shrikes are considered cosmopolitan in distribution. Photos show a young and a adult female shrike. My family found joy in watching and listening to this bird - among other birds - in our backyard and the neighborhood where trees of ilang-ilang, talisay, mango and aratilis make a small arboretum.of sort.