I watched a baby bird learn to fly. I wake early and write at a small table next to a window looking out onto our enclosed front patio. Friday I became aware of a bird hopping and flying about the patio. He seemed frantic as he chirped and called in an agitated manner. I grabbed my camera and took the above photo of him as he took a short rest. At first I thought he was waiting for our front water fountain to come on, but then I noticed a tiny baby bird hiding behind the leg of a bench. The adult flew down and began to attend to the baby.
Below you can see the baby being fed.
The adults continued all day to fly off and return with food. The baby hid and rested while the parents were away, and became more lively whenever it was time to eat.
I took the above photo later in the day, as the baby was slowly gaining strength. Before long, we could differentiate between the voice of the adult bird and the baby’s. Occasionally, the baby would try to fly, but it couldn’t get very high off of the ground. As the sun was setting, the father seemed to be encouraging the baby to fly. It was amazing to watch.The vocal father seemed to be the main caregiver, and we wondered if the mother was perhaps sitting on other babies in the nest. We were tempted to try to box or cage the bird for the night, but decided it was best not to interfere. Eventually, the adult bird left for the night. He must have been exhausted. A few times during the night, I wondered how the little bird was doing alone, and probably cold, in the dark.
I was up early and in my place by the window when the sun rose. Then I heard the voice of the adult bird. He was back calling to his baby. Here you see him on the patio table. He certainly was a dedicated parent!
I didn’t think the little bird, huddled in the far corner of the patio, was still alive. My husband went outside with a long stick and reached it to the very still baby. When its foot was touched, it scurried quickly behind the water fountain. He was alive! We were so happy. The father bird again began feeding the baby. It was heart-warming to see how this wild bird cared for one of its young. I was feeling blessed to be witnessing all of this, yet I still feared for the little bird. My husband eventually placed a few bread crumbs on the patio floor, and the adult bird began to peck at them and call to the baby to come out of hiding. Suddenly it happened. The baby joined the parent out in the open. Next the parent flew to the top of our lattice fence, and the baby took flight and then slipped through an opening in the lattice (photo below).
Suddenly both baby and father flew off together. If I hadn’t looked up exactly when I did, I would have missed this thrilling end to an amazing two days of bird watching.