A helping hand for a feathered friend

My Dad has had lots of avian friends over the years. At one point entire branches of the Pioneer River magpie and butcher bird family trees were dropping by each day to check in and sing a few songs with him.

In recent years a flutter of sunbirds took up residence.

Some built a nest on the verandah; some in the carport, next to the caravan.


Eggs were laid, from within them chicks furiously jackhammered their way into the world.

One year the nest on the verandah fell down.

My Dad’s wife, Eileen, thought this would not do.

Being a woman of industry she did what seemed perfectly obvious to her, and reached for her crochet hook. Not long after the nest was back up, cradled safely within its own bespoke nest sling, and attached to an old shirt hanger on the laundry door with a clothes peg.

Eileen passed away suddenly a year ago this week. She and Dad had been down here with all the family for a series of birthdays and celebrations, so this time of year now has a bittersweet undertone.

She didn’t get to see the sunbirds when they came back to do some running repairs and nest last October, or again earlier this year.

But it’s because of her they were able to come home.