Monday, June 22, 2009

What Happened to the Blackbird Chick?

Do you remember this little blackbird (just visible in front of its parent) in the nest in our garden hedge? After having posted this picture some time ago ...

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... I went back a few days later to check on its progress, but the nest was by then empty. The fledgeling had flown. I did not know whether it was OK or had been taken by a predator. Now I believe I have the answer.

I am pretty sure that the young blackbird I saw sunning in the garden yesterday is the very one. He/she (too soon to say yet) did the typical blackbird thing of spreading its wings, or rather tried to perhaps, because this is all he/she managed to do. Adults sometimes lie down on the ground fanning out all the feathers, looking like a road accident victim. I do not know why they do that, but I guess it has got something to do with airing or possibly getting rid of parasites. I have not researched it yet.

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Then I saw a rather unusual sight, a very young wood pigeon. The young one was on the ground with a parent, who took off as soon as it caught sight of me, but the little one did not understand the potential danger and just stood there not knowing what to do. They are funny, those young birds. They look completely lost in this new world before they have learnt the basics, and of course a great number of them do not survive for more than a few weeks. Often you can see them just sitting there, not doing anything, because they do not know yet what to do!

This particular fledgeling even had some down left between the developing feathers and looked very fresh. It had clearly not been out of the nest for very long. He/she managed to fly to our garden table, and then took off again to land extremely clumsily on a high branch which was much too small to hold its weight, so it had to flap its wings in a panic not to fall off. Great entertainment. See how young it looks, poor thing.

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Diane said...

We've had a nest of baby somethings (flying creatures... dunno what sort) in a tree in our yard. Just last week, they all left the nest. It was so sweet!!

swenglishexpat said...

Diane - This is the time of year when it all happens, and it is over so quickly. You've got to keep your eyes open not to miss it.

LadyFi said...

Glad to hear all is well with the blackbird chick.

That other fledgling looks quite a sight with its scrawny feathers! You've really captured them well.

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - Thank you. It is all very busy in the garden right now, and I have interesting, new pictures nearly every day, but I hesitate posting all the ones I think are interesting. I try to hold back a little even though it is not easy, I am just an amateur bird (not even) lover, who happens to have lots of them around. Might have something to do with the feeders! ;-)