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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fly Catchers

We have watched this family of Flycatchers go from building a nest to having 4 tiny eggs to two of those eggs hatching. The little weak globs of baby birds barely able to hold their heads up to now getting ready to fly to their freedom. This family has nested on or under our deck for several years and it has been educational watching them raise their young each year. The mom keeps those eggs covered and warm with her own body and then the tiny babies are also kept warm until they grow feathers. Then the endless pursuit of food to feed them until they are ready to fly and be free.

What I find interesting is the babies or young birds will stay in the nest and be fed until the parents know they are ready to fly off on their own. When that happens the parents stop feeding them and usually after a short while the baby birds will fly out of the nest. Last year it took one bird two days before it was encouraged to leave the nest. When they leave the nest they don't return. The first few hours the mom and dad birds will teach them to catch their own food, and the essentials they need to survive then they are on their own.

Once they are on their own they don't return or try to return to the nest. Their newfound freedom is shown as they flutter around the house plucking insects out of the air. It is not only educational but joyful to see them take flight the first time and gain their coordination and freedom. Our two birds are ready to take flight very soon as the photo depicts. They are fully feathered and almost the size of their parents. When they take flight the parents will be there for them briefly and then they are on their own. Very fun to observe each year.

4 comments:

Nadia D. said...

We've only seen a few birds down here this trip. Not sure what they are (tiny and brown) but they sound lovely.

Bruce said...

Nadia: They may be wren's. We have several families of wrens nesting around our house. Tiny and brown.......

Nadia D. said...

You may be right. I did see a really pretty bluebird today. It was so blue it almost didn't look real. They don't get that blue back in Illinois.

Bruce said...

I wonder if you are seeing stellar jays. They have some radiant blue hues and they are really beautiful. We are blessed in our area to have so many varieties home here and those that are in the migration path.... Keep enjoying them, they are each unique. We have a raven that comes at a certain time of year and if we have caught any mice from under the house we toss the mouse out for the raven. He never shows he is discouraged if we don't have a mouse but he comes year after year as a faithful friend.