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The Flight of the Baby Birds

So where did we leave off with the baby birds, in the rhododendron bush in the backyard?


They really were in there.

First they were pink and a bit fluffy, and then they started the hard work of growing feathers, which meant they needed a lot of sleep, with short breaks for eating and nuzzling with Mom.






The four babies slept in an undifferentiated pile, in a nest that became progressively smaller and smaller, or at least that’s how it seemed.




One day, the oldest of the babies saw me coming with my camera and flew out of the nest. The next day, they all saw me coming and flew off in different directions. But not too far.



And the following day, they were gone.


A week or so later, I saw one of the baby birds, a teenager now, standing on top of Mom’s temporary greenhouse in the backyard. He had a speckled breast, alfalfa-like hair, and clumsy long feet. When I got too close, he decided to fly to a nearby window, where he saw his mirror image flapping desperately in the glass and lost his footing (winging?) and started to fall, barely catching one long toe on the window ledge below.

Clearly, flying is much harder than Mama Robin made it seem.


P.S. Miss Butterfly has healed so well from her surgery that she was up to a visit to the groomer.


“Now that I look beautiful, don’t you want to give me a chicken treat?”


About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

133 responses »

  1. Wow! What amazing pictures of these baby birds! Love the story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. just feel like feeding the babies just can bear to see their craving to be fed. Lovely pics 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  3. Our blue tits fledged when we weren’t looking but today the parents returned with a youngster, to show him how to eat from the fat ball! Pip

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Rachel! As a birder, I really enjoyed this robin chronicle!

  5. I live in florida & we only get robins passing through 2X a year on their way to or from South America! I love to see the flocks grazing in my yard for bugs or whatever! The way they migrate! It’s so amazing.

    No more or less amazing than your stories, your narrative voice, your rachel-ness, your essential being. Thank you for being brave enough to be honest & write about the realest of the real. You always uplift me. Forgive me for gushing. I feel very sisterly toward you, a fellow writer.

      • Just passing it along. I had some good writerly peers & I know good writing wherever I see it. Whether in a legal brief, a poem, an essay, a short story, a play, a script… a technical manual… etc. Fluency with language & bravery to confront the thorniest of human problems. Was it Voltaire? “Nothing human is alien to me.” That’s the goal of a writer. To join the eternal conversation of what it is to be a human being. We are the universe looking back at itself… with compassion, wisdom, and grace. The Holy Spirit, I guess is what you’d call it. I know it when I feel it.

  6. Nice photo essay, I enjoy the birds myself. Yay for Miss Butterfly 🙂

  7. Stunning record of the baby birds! Thanks for sharing it. And so thankful Butterfly was up to her trip to the groomer. She is indeed beautiful. I’d give her the treat…what can I say…I’m a softy!

  8. Wow, what a rare thing to witness. So glad you shared.

  9. Amazing wonderful photo’s. What a privilege to watch the baby birds grow up and fly away.

  10. Wonderful, I enjoyed the progressive pictures, growth is so beautiful.

  11. Reblogged this on Animals are Wonderful and commented:
    Adorable baby birds and a lovely doggy named Ms. Butterfly

  12. Loved those baby birds. Ms. Butterfly looks beautiful. My Sid sends her his sincerest meows. I re-blogged this to my WP Animals Are Wonderful.

  13. Cute post. How did you get pictures?

  14. Thx for the like. I love this bird chronicle. Amazing! And your dog is so cute!

  15. I love birds! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. How precious are these:) love how you were able to capture the stages of a birds growth!


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