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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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And the following day, they were gone.

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A week or so later, I saw one of the baby birds, a teenager now, standing on top of Momโ€™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.

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

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“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. A happy ending for all. Yay for the birds and for Butterfly!

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  2. So fascinating. You’re so lucky to be able to follow these little guys ! Butterfly definitely deserves a treat !

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  3. I am so glad Butterfly is better. Did she lose weight, or is it just the look of the hair cut? Glad to see the birds have as hard a time leaving the nest as most of us do.

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  4. She IS beautiful, Ms. Butterfly, and yes she does deserve a chicken treat, just for the photo ! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing the saga of the robins…so beautiful. I’m glad they’re doing so well! And next Spring it begins again, doesn’t it?

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  5. It’s good to read that she’s doing better! She looks so content! The birds sort of made my skin crawl, thankfully, none of them was hurt!

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  6. hairytoegardener

    The robins are SO cute, but Ms. Butterfly surpasses them in loveliness. She looks pretty perky, and I think she deserves two treats. Wish I could give her a back scratch.

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  7. Baby birds bring back memories of my childhood.

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  8. what amazing photos and wonderful experience!

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  9. Glad Butterfly is doing so well. Beautiful photos of the baby birds too.

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  10. So happy to hear that Butterfly is feeling better!

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  11. Oh, I just ADORE this post ๐Ÿ™‚ ! And Ms. Butterfly is adorable as usual, so glad to see her “smiling” face. We have rescued baby starlings for years, but a couple of years ago, we had one that refused to leave when the time came. His name is Sam and I chronicle his first year here, http://staceylynnwells.com/sam-a-year-in-pictures/ if you’d like to read it. He’s our baby, and tell us so frequently ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so so glad you shared this post!

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  12. These images are really incredible, Rachel. Seriously. Such an amazing metamorphosis!
    And I’m so glad Butterfly is doing well – you are a good mommy…she looks adorable!!

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  13. Those birds grow fast, don’t they? (I say this as someone who used to have pet finches that bred like rabbits.)

    And glad to see that Butterfly is getting back to being Butterfly! (My own Roxy is more of a smoked pig’s ear or chewing on the leftover steak bone kind of gal.)

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  14. brings back memories of the starlings in the tree outside my bedroom window when I was a teen. at least once a season, we’d find a baby bird out of the nest and in the bed below.

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  15. Lovely for you to post an update on that adorable Butterfly, Rachel. Thank you for the update.

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  16. What a great visual story you’ve told!

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  17. Aww, those babies are so cute. Good the nest was in the rhododendron bush and not half way up in an apple tree. It gave you the opportunity to follow them growing from the very beginning. So happy for Miss Butterfly to have healed. She looks adorable.

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  18. Lovely to see the birds fly and so wonderful to see Butterfly sparkling again! โ˜บ๐Ÿ’–

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  19. So funny how baby birds are all eyes and beak to start with! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Miss Butterfly is adorable. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  20. A lovely record; good news about Butterfly

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  21. Cute – the birds and Miss Butterfly.

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  22. Wonderful news, all in all! And such beautiful photos!

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  23. Beautiful photos of the birds growing. Glad Butterfly is recovering well.

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  24. What beautiful photos of the birds….love the rhododendron bush too. Have two in my back yard also.

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  25. Lovely picture of the birds.
    Hope Butterfly got her treats (and Cricket too) and continues to recover well.

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  26. Wonderful photos and touching story

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  27. Glad to hear Butterfly is doing well. May she continue to recover and enjoy listening to the melodic song of the robin.

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  28. Those photos are wonderful! Thank you for sharing the experience!

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  29. They grow so fast and are gone before you know it. Great log of their journey to flight. Glad Butterfly is doing so well.

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  30. Effie Carayannis

    Absolutely beautiful photos. Nature has some amazing stories, thanks for sharing

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  31. So happy for Butterfly and you…beautiful bird story.

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  32. Lovely birds ,glad Butterfly looks a lot better

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  33. This post is full of cuteness and sweetness and all things beautiful! Love it! I’m so glad Butterfly is doing well x

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  34. It’s great to hear Butterfly is feeling so well. She should get lots and lots of chicken treats! The baby birds were so cute! Thank you for sharing the pictures!

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  35. Wow those are some amazing photos!! I really enjoyed watching the little babies grow! Very cool!!

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  36. Thank you for posting the complete story of the robins, glad that it had a happy ending. And that Butterfly is feeling better and recovering.

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  37. Pingback: Blue Sky Tag | yochet

  38. Wow! I enjoyed reading about the birds. I have not seen a baby bird since about 3 years ago. Last year, my son had to collect baby opossums because our rat terrier went to use the rest room late at night and caught the mom. We later found out that it was a new mother of 7. Yoel, my 17 year old son, went around the yard with a flash light to collect all the babies. We put them at a rescue center the following morning. I wasn’t blogging then, so I had no chronicle of it. But I was so proud of my son for not giving up on looking for the babies. I should go back and look for the pictures and videos I took and blog about it. Especially now that Yoel is no longer here. He passed away about 6 months after the opossum event.

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  39. Those bird pics are amazing!

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  40. I’m glad the young robins fledged, I’ve found if the parents are spied upon too often they may not return to the nest, and the nest fails. Great recovery, Butterfly!

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  41. Great photos & so glad your fur babies are all doing well, too!

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  42. Fantastic photos of the baby birds. So happy to hear the good news about sweet Butterfly…she is just so cute. Hugs and nose kisses from all us to all of you.

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  43. Aww. So ugly, then so grumpy looking, then so cute.

    So happy Butterfly is doing so well. Must be her positive attitude, yes?

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  44. Lovely Story in Pictures.

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