Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Phoebe Leaves Home

My hidden home
My nest is tucked up under the overhang of a quarry ledge. You can see one of my parents flying in to feed me. I can't be sure whether it's Mom or Dad, they look so much alike.

A bug for me
Both my parents have been very busy bringing in insects to get me ready for flight. One day my wings are going to take me far away.

Phoebe hunting
Far off in the distance I see them dipping for bugs on the water surface. They sit on a tree branch until they spot their quarry in the quarry.

Prowling blue jay
That isn't their only job. Dad dive-bombed this blue jay that had some very unfriendly intentions toward me.

Vigilant Dad
They have to keep their feathers in good shape to accomplish all this. I'm finding out how important preening will be in the days ahead.

Taking care of feathers
Once I fledge from the nest my feathers will have to be in perfect order and well oiled to keep me dry and maneuverable. My parents take care of theirs expertly.

Looking down the cliff line
If I peek around the corner of the overhang I can see the face of the cliff that surrounds us. I wonder if I'm going to have to work my way up to the top when I take off. Down below, it's all water....

Wildflowers on the cliff
There are some pretty sights right around me. I think I could be quite happy here for a while longer.

Waiting parent
My parents tell me there's only one way forward. I'm going to have to leap out of the nest, flap like crazy, and then I'll be flying with them. I think tomorrow's the day.

Afternoon sunlight across the quarry
The morning sunlight comes across the quarry right into our nook. At the end of the day I feel it reflected back from the cliffs across the water.

Encouragement from a parent
Morning time. This is it. I'm ready. But my wings aren't nearly as big as theirs.

I made it!
I flew right around the corner to a handy crevice in the cliff. Wow! My parents are very excited. They want us to get to the woods quickly. That means up and over. I can't even see the trees from here.

Looking back at my birthplace
A big hungry gull flew by. Not a second to lose. I'm on the way!

1 comment:

  1. Life is precious and beautiful! Thanks for this story of too-often-un-noticed bravery. Those parents must love that little one painfully much. I feel connected profoundly to their story of bringing insects to their little one and praying for him to grow - powerless to make him grow big and strong and courageous, with nothing else that they care about in the world by comparison. Our own little lives are so important, every one of them. Fight that blue jay off, daddy! Fly fly little phoebe!