Venturing and exploring a natural habitat within once reach is an interesting hobby. In my childhood, I was greatly fascinated and captivated by the bipedal, winged and feathered creatures that fly and more often than not dance in the air.

The winged fouls have a natural empowerment that enable them to ascend to the highest heavens and commune with the deities. Mortals have envied them for centuries. In Greek mythology, Icarus (Greek, Ikaros) attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father Daedalus constructed from feathers and wax. He flew too close to the sun and the wax melted and the feathers fell off. He fell down in the sea and died.

Wings make fowls conquer the gravity of the earth and sour across the blue skies.

Some species of the birds, the graceful larks fly high past the clouds in their soprano and lovely musical choruses. The eagle has a powerful vision that enables it to locate their prey on the ground while hovering in the sky. The far sighted bird has become a symbol of inspiration, insight and wisdom. The Owl is a bad omen. In some communities, it poses a psychological nausea for its involvement in human death.

Birds are the first to monitor the arrival of dawn and herald the breaking of the new day with choruses of music. The proverb, “The earliest bird catches the worm,” points to the reality that birds are the first to search for food and thus the first to break the nocturnal fast.

When the sun goes to rest and the night falls, the proverb goes, “Every fowl knows its sleeping place.” In the habitat of my exploration, birds pench themselves on the branches of trees at night. Owls are peculiar predictors. They spend the whole day sleeping only to start their hunting activities in the night.

Intelligence operates in the instinct of birds. This intelligence is best manifested in two ways: building of nests and nursing the baby birds. Nests are the only self made shelters of birds. The artistic ability of weaving a nest can hardly be achieved by any human genius. The nursing home is ready prior to the laying of the eggs. The bird collects one blade of grass, twig, or leaf at a time. The nesting instinct of intertwining these blades displays great skill and enduring patience. The nest artisan does not forget that there ought to be an entrance. Weaver birds have an exceptional instinct of weaving an elaborate nest.


   The elaborate nests of weaver birds

The fibre wall of the nest has a thickness of one inch. The interior is strongly protected from the penetration of cold winds. The narrow entrance to the nest faces directly to the ground. The strategic position of the entrance has one optimum advantage. The down pouring rains hardly enters the interior. The inside therefore remains always warmer than a bed with woolen blankets.

The gregarious weaver birds reside in tall and thorny acacia trees. Thorns and the height of the tree provide security for the eggs and the nestlings. Weaver birds know by instinct that there exists predictors that could invade the nest to eat eggs and nestlings.

The mother bird makes several trips in a day from the nest and back with two intents; to search for food and to feed the brood. The daily toil can be exhaustingly stressful and frustrating, of course with reasons. For all we know, birds have no gardens, they never sow seeds nor make any harvest to store in granaries for a rainy day. Notwithstanding, birds never experience starvation. They have mighty wings to fly far and wide in search of green pastures. The mother nature takes care for he survival of the fittest.

The mother returns to the nest with food in form of grains, worms, insects and any other sculent substances. The food is stocked in the bulging crop. On arrival in the nest, the blind nestlings know by sensation that the mother has brought them the day’s meal. The mouths of these tinny and skinny offsprings are wide open to be spoon fed by the mother. The mother emptied the food in her crop and inserts it into the mouth of each of her young ones. She feeds them to their satisfaction. The mother too, is content with the day’s fruitful toil.

In  my leisure ventures, I came to discover that birds lay a pair of eggs. In all probability, they all hatch without a hitch. I kept a routine check on one nest of a dove whose nest is not elaborate and complicated as that of a weaver bird. I could hardly believe what I saw to be true. In my surprise, the reality in the nest and that in some families had no comparison. The mother bird takes care of her offsprings than some families whose children are living under malnourishment. The children of these mothers had very thin legs, thin hands, enlarged and protruding stomachs enlarged cheeks and very brown hair. Family feeding instinct in birds is better compared with that of some rational animals. The pair of baby birds in the nest were well nourished, energetic, active and healthy.

The maturation of the bird offsprings comes when the first attempt to take a flight from the nest proves a success. They are on their own once out of the net. The mother bird is relieved of the responsibility of toiling in search of food and feeding them. Mother nature takes care of the new strangers in the environment. They search for food to satisfy their hunger and water to quench thirst. Mother Nature takes care for all that pertains to their health. However, eagles are the predictors that pose the greatest threat.

Mother Nature! Mother earth! Mother bird! Adolescent mother! These are rhyming words that express one reality of motherhood. In all life situations, experience is the best teacher. The first words of the same syllable that a human child learns to utter are Papa and Mama. The closest friend to the child is the mother.

The mother bird is not only a good example of a dedicated mother but also a lesson to an adolescent mother. Adolescent mothers are living in a world in which moral values and ethical norms are loosing meaning. The mother bird is an example of five moral values. The values practically exemplified in her life are: empathy, sympathy, care, concern and love.

The instinct that drives the mother bird ought to drive human adolescent mothers with a more rational and ethical meaning. Attitudes create feelings and feelings create attitudes. Existence ought to be given meaning. Existence has two polarities, I and you. The other is as important as me, without the other, my existence looses meaning.

Empathy is the ability to imagine oneself in another’s place, or in the other’s shoes. This attitude makes one understand the other’s feelings, emotions, ideas and actions. The psychological state of empathy is closely linked with that of sympathy but they are not identical.

The adolescent mother has empathy for the unborn baby growing in her nest. The unborn has the right to life and existence. In spite of this empathy, adolescent mothers are faced with a number of problems. One has the courage to abort albeit with remorse’ and thus deny life and existence to another person like her.

In many other instances, adolescent mothers give birth to beautiful babies and deny them existence. After giving birth, the mother strangles the infant, wraps it in a polythene paper and dumps it in a public dustbin or garbage heap. In the countryside; they are dumped in pit latrines.

One adolescent mother dumped her baby in a pit latrine without strangling. She hoped the baby would eventually drown in the sewage. God forbid! The baby never drowned. The father of the baby’s mother happened to be the first to attend the same toilet. He heard the desperate cry of a child. He alerted his sons and made every effort to rescue and save the baby. Today, the child is a school going girl.

The mother bird does not lay eggs and eat them immediately. Instinct tells her that there is life inside the eggs. She does not either regret feeding the baby offsprings to starve to death. She also takes care to protect the eggs and the babies from all predictors.

The response of empathy is sympathy that demands a pragmatic action. This action is sharing the feelings of the other and giving meaning to the others existence. The mother bird gives care, concern for her offsprings until they have reached the maturation to be on their own. There is an instinct of love in the mother bird. In adolescent mothers, this attitude appeals in a degree of ethical perfection. It is a moral duty to give empathy, sympathy, care, concern, love and happiness to both the unborn and the born infants. Human life in meaningessl without giving love and happiness to the other, my companion in existence.