I live in an apartment, which has its pleasures. Living in a house is nice too and different, because you have a porch. My mother has a front porch and a small back porch on her house. For many years now birds have built their nests in the eaves of these porches every spring. This year there’s a bumper crop: a long mourning dove with long tail feathers and a black marble for an eye who’s shaped like a smoking pipe when she sits on her eggs, sparrows on the other side, and purple finches out back. A pair of purple finches has made a nest on her back porch every spring for as long as my mom can remember. The mother birds have to get used to us coming and going from the house, of the shhhhh-WAP of the back door and the gunshot of the heavy front one being slammed. Once they do, and realize we mean them no harm, they’ve got a plumb spot, tucked up under our house and out of the sight of predator birds who would eat their eggs before they’re hatched. Once they do hatch it rains baby birds every time we open the door. Within a couple more weeks from now I’d say they’ll all be gone.

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