I just got to witness one of the most amazing things, three baby birds just took their first flight out of their nest which is up on a beam on our front porch.
I sorta, may have, initiated this flight because I was up near the nest trying to take a head count and as I was beginning to move away the three birds suddenly took off and flew to a tree whose branches are just a few feet away.
Being so close to the nest I, understand how I scared them into flight mode, but this closeness also made this an awesome experience, being able to watch them up close as they took to the air.
I’ve been watching the parents everyday take care of their chicks, taking turns at gathering food and feeding them, seeing the parent who was not feeding acting as a distraction to lure possible predators away, (I was thought to be one such predator until my constant presence became a daily norm). I do know not to get too close as my scent could cause an abandonment, but I only looked one other time this year and I stayed back as much as I could, so as not to disturb them.
So as the young ones took to the wing, they hopped about the branches in the tree for a short time then decided to fly around and play in the wind for awhile. One of them has already returned to the nest and the others are in the tree nearby. They appear to be at that age where they still need to be fed (the parents were doing just that this morning), so I hope they all make it back, and I’m almost positive they will be back to the nest all safe for the night.
On a sad note, when I was taking the head count I noticed a set of tail feathers that did not leave. Closer inspection showed that there had been 4 siblings in total yet one had died and the body remains up there. Though this is sad it is also nature.
I’m not sure what kind of birds they are but they are small 2-3 inches from beak to tail, and the male has red feathers on his head and chest. I think they maybe some type of finch that lives in the Arizona desert. They are such noisy little things, but I love having them as my porch companions, (they sorta make me feel like a Disney princess, like Snow White or Cinderella, but unfortunately they don’t seam able to make a dress, but one can always hope).
This is the second year in a row that the nest has been inhabited and produced offspring. The original makers were a set of doves that were just too nervous being near people that their attempt failed, which was in the spring of 2011. But last year these birds found the nest site, fixed up the first nest and built their own in and around it, and then made it their home.
I hope they return next year and hatch another set of eggs. It’s a really special feeling I have for these little birds and their brood, kinda paternal making this first flight such a joyous experience of wonder and awe, (I will even admit that when they flew off I got a little choked up and almost had a tear in my eye).
So as I hope that they will return next year, I will just enjoy their present company with all the chirping and cheeping. And I will always remember this year as a special one, when I got to see the little babies, now teenagers in bird time, take their first flight.