Total Pageviews

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nesting Fly Catchers

 Each year a family of fly catchers nests at our home. Some years they nest on top of the electrical box, other years in other places. This year they built their nest under our deck. We have watched the mom fly catcher sit on her three tiny eggs until they hatched and then watched the helpless little birds be fed by the mom and dad. The last couple days they have become too large to fit comfortably in the nest but they still hung in the nest.

Over the years we have observed their behavior and how scary it is for the young ones to actually take flight. Shortly after I took these photos two of the birds took off on their own leaving the third one in the nest by itself. It is hard for them to leave the protection of that nest and the closeness of their brothers and sisters and being cared for by the adults. It seems each year mom fly catcher lays three eggs and her hatch rate has been perfect so far. We have watched this process happen year after year.

For about 2-3 weeks the adults feed those babies until they have developed fully and are ready to be on their own and experience the freedom of flying and fending for themselves. We have also noted that once they leave the nest that mom spends a little time with them teaching them how to catch their own food since they have been fed up until this point. Watching them take flight for the first time is interesting. They initially appear dumbfounded with their new freedom and just sit and wonder how that happened. Pretty soon they are free from the restraint of the nest and forge into the great unknown flying from tree to tree in search of food.

We have also noticed when they are ready to leave the nest that they crowd each other tightly in the nest and that mom quits feeding them as often and tapers off feeding them altogether. Soon they are hungry and that serves as additional motivation for them to leave the nest. Once out of the nest mom gives them the final lesson needed and they are on their own catching their own food. It seems to me that this is repeated over each year exactly the same. It makes us realize just how perfect nature really is and that we can learn a lot simply by watching and observing. One of those lessons is that when they have finally taken flight, received their advanced education they do not return to the nest. They either make it on their own or they fail. Mother fly catcher has given them all she can and the rest is fully up to them. While it may seem heartless it is actually the most loving gesture that a mom can give her offspring. They end up experiencing the true freedom of life without restraint and their wings carry them through the future.

Many of us humans raise and nurture our young, send them off for advanced training, then they come home again and sometimes stay for very long times. Maybe we should observe the fly catcher and other birds and take a lesson from them. Adult children who are dependent on their parents never truly experience the freedoms of life they are meant to experience. I'm sure those little fly catchers will make mistakes and some may be serious mistakes but they also are living true freedom once they depart from the nest. Dependence is good when you need it but can cripple you when you don't. Lessons to be learned from our feathered friends.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Comment by Sakoieta':Good words. I always believed that the most important part of parenting was to teach our children to be self disciplined, respectful to self and all others and faithful to not only their beliefs but others as well, and to be able to be as self sufficient and able to reason as possible.