Several days earlier they looked like little lumps of feathers all curled up against each other breathing quickly and waiting for their next meal. Now, there they were scampering up to the edge of the nest ready for clearance to go solo from Mama in the control tower. In this case, a nearby dogwood tree.
I had inched the camera with a 60mm macro lens into the bush maybe a foot from the nest despite Mama’s rather urgent protests. Junior gave me a look as if to say “I’m not real sure about this…” I decided to give him a little space. After a minute or so, Junior gave it a few flaps and was off….kinda. Navigating out of a thick privet hedge requires some intricate flying maneuvers and Junior’s radar had not been completely programmed. He wound up on the ground testing out some rather wobbly landing gear. His brother did no better. Both quickly scampered under a nearby deck which is skirted and not accessible to anything much larger than a bird. A rather safe bird hangar for the evening. When I left, I could see both of them flapping around under the deck. Next morning, I walked over to check on the solo artists. Both were gone. So was Mama. I want to think they made it out okay and soon will be cruising the thermals and chomping on sunflower seeds. I’m rooting for them. See you next time on most of this same blog……and feed the birds.