Thursday, June 22, 2017

Little Chicks Outgrow the Nest

Wednesday, June 14: Still looking a little bit fuzzy.

So our babies have grown up. It's amazing to me how quickly our young birds grew from tiny, gangly balls of fluff to almost-adult birds. During a one-week period, they went from fuzzy, awkward adolescents to little adults flying off on their own.

Thursday, June 15: Most of the fuzz seems to have worn off.

I'm so sad that I missed their maiden flights. In the last photo below--the final picture I took of the trio--they reminded me of bored teenagers who couldn't wait "to get out of this stupid house and your stupid rules." That was on Monday. Mark and I were headed to the Valley on Tuesday, and I hoped they wouldn't fly away while we were gone. When we returned around 5:00 on Tuesday, they were still in the nest and their parents were still bringing them food. I was so relieved.

Friday, June 16: We get our first glimpse of actual tail feathers!

When I woke up on Wednesday, my first thought was, "Today may be the day!" I got dressed and headed toward the porch, but I was met halfway by Mark, who gave me the bad news. When he'd gotten up a couple of hours earlier, they were already gone. I was heartbroken, but I'm glad all three of our little guys made it, healthy and strong and on their way to a happy bird-life. Birds were calling from the trees all around the house, and I pictured them there, free among the branches.

Saturday, June 17: Covered in real feathers and fluttering their wings.

These are my favorite pictures of our triplets, taken each day of their final six days with us. It was so much fun to watch them grow, but I've decided this will be the last time we host a bird nest on the porch. Other than the mud pile left during the building of the nest, the parent birds never left us any mess. As the babies grew, however, they began pooping outside the nest. The area directly beneath it soon looked like the bottom of a birdcage. Gross.

Sunday, June 18: They look like little adult birds now.

I know some species return to nest in the same area year after year. Whether this is one of those species, I do not know, but I'm taking no chances. Soon Mark will take down the empty nest, and then we will place something spiky on top of the light fixture to discourage further nesting. Perhaps a piece of wood with some long nails pounded through and pointing upward. We loved our little birds, but once was enough!

Sunday, June 18: Finally, we can see that all three have survived!

Happy soaring, little ones!

Sunday, June 18: Is it just me, or is that middle guy giving me the evil eye?

Monday, June 19: Three bored teens who can't wait to get out on their own!
This was our last full day together.

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