Once we were with the Prophet (pbuh) when a man came forward, who held in his hand something wrapped up in a blanket. He said: ‘O Messenger of God, I was passing by a thicket of trees when I heard some birds chirping. I seized them and put them in my blanket. Then their mother appeared and began to hover over my head. So I uncovered them a little to let her see. She alighted on them, and I wrapped them all up in my blanket. Here they all are.’
The Prophet (pbuh) immediately ordered them to be put down. I put them down, but their mother would not leave them. The Prophet (pbuh) thereupon said: ‘Do you wonder at the compassion of this bird for her young? By Him who has sent me with the Truth, God is more merciful to His servants than this mother of young birds is to her young.’
Then he ordered: ‘Take them back and put them where you got them. And the mother as well.’ So he took them back.