The Thing with Feathers

By Michelle Au ’99
Endnote, Spring 2020

Last spring my family found a bird’s nest in our garage. We noticed it by chance, high on a shelf 10 feet up, a packed swirl of twigs and pine straw about the size and shape of a catcher’s mitt. One of my kids had broken a window in our garage months before (to this day, both the projectile and culprit remain at large) and it must have been through this breach that the bird gained access. It was unclear how long the nest had been there—for all I knew, it could have been months and I’d just never noticed it. We have a way of walking right past things we don’t expect to see.

Though she was rarely sighted, we were further surprised one day to find our mysterious tenant had delivered a clutch of five Instagram-worthy speckled eggs. We cooed and marveled over this development, but when nothing happened after a few weeks, we figured the eggs had either been abandoned, or else were duds.