Friday, June 06, 2008

First flight

Drip, drip


Another drizzly day. In the afternoon, a tiny sparrow sat huddled and miserable on the wet cement of my patio.

I watched him for a long while. He wasn't moving, wasn't eating. Just sitting, puffed up and looking cold. I was considering whether to go out and see if he was injured, when the mother appeared. I'd seen her around; a jittery white-crowned sparrow, always in a great hurry. She looked the fledgling over and left. A moment later, another chick fluttered down to land beside the first.

Wishing they were back in the warm nest, maybe.

They perked up when Mommy joined them and started picking up seeds; they opened hungry beaks when she was near. She worked diligently, cracking seeds and feeding one baby, then the other.

A lot easier than ferrying seeds up to the nest one billfull at a time.

For about an hour, the chicks sat in the rain and ate. They grew more confident, more interested in their surroundings; they held their heads higher, they started to explore.

Bright eyes!

A bit later, they were hopping. And soon they had managed to hop up into the shrubbery, about 18 inches above the ground. And out of the rain. Mommy fed them there until bedtime.

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