A Baby Bird Learns to Fly

Parent-Bird
I like to wake up 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 bird flew down and began to attend to the baby.

baby-bird-2

Below you can see the baby being fed by its parent.

Feeding-BabyThe adult birds 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.Baby-standing

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!

returning-father

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).

flying-baby

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.

The Coyotes Are Back!

fisihed-seal-beachThis morning I took this photo from Mom’s front porch. She looks out onto a lovely green-belt. A great view and a the perfect place for walking. Two years ago coyotes moved in and became a major threat to dogs, cats, and rabbits in the neighborhood. About six months ago, they suddenly disappeared. The community began to relax and the dog walkers began to leave their canes, walking sticks, and whistles at home. The local rabbit population began to expand once more, and it looked like all were safe for the time being, or so they hoped, then last week, one of Mom’s neighbors called to tell her she’d spotted a coyote on her morning walk.

P1020987 coyote-1This morning during breakfast, Mom spotted a coyote across the green looking for breakfast. I ran for my camera,but the above photos  where all I could take before he turned a corner and disappeared. It looks to me like the time has come again,  to pick up those walking sticks and whistles.

 

How a Hummingbird Changed My Plans

P1020143My plan for the morning was to spend time reading the manual that came with my new camera. I wanted to study the chapter on short focal length photography, because I use a lot of close up photos in my blog, and still have a lot to learn. When I finished my reading, I took a few practice photos in the house, and then planned to go outside and practice some more of what I’d just learned. How quickly plans can change!

On January 20 I posted, How to Make Hummingbird Food, and this morning, through our kitchen window, we spotted one of our little flock sitting on a nest. Suddenly, instead of taking close ups, I was taking long focal shots, so I wouldn’t disturb the little mother. I turned out the kitchen light and watched her as she flew back and forth between the feeder and her nest.

P1020123-1Here you can see her, head down in the nest feeding her babies. I felt a little guilty spying on her, but she was so amazing to watch.

P1020127-1Here she is a little later taking a nap after all of her hard work. I was very careful not to get too close, and I’m happy she chose a quiet side of the house, where she can be safe and protected, hidden away in the leaves of the Night Blooming Jasmine. My job is to keep the hummingbird feeder full, while my husband Martin, keeps the water fountains filled with fresh, clean water. Being able to observe this little hummingbird is a very special reward for our efforts.