Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer of the birds

It seems that everywhere I turn this summer I find baby birds.
We had a bittersweet ending to our chimney swift saga. For three weeks, we lived with four little birds hidden away in our fireplace, behind our wooden screen, after their nest fell from the chimney. Even the thin plywood barrier didn't muffle the round-the-clock squawking. It sounded like we were living with wildlife in our living room. Fortunately, the parents went above and beyond and performed dive-bomb type swoops down our chimney and into our fireplace to feed their babies.

From the beginning, three of the babies were heartier than the 4th. The scrawny bird was never allowed into the nest and never seemed very healthy. After initially discovering the birds and moving them back in their fallen nest, we left them alone. We did sneak a peek every few days though.

These photos are each about two days apart, starting with the morning after we found them.

See the three birds together on the fallen nest and the 4th bird outside of the nest.

This was the first bird to leave the nest and cling to the wall. These birds have an amazing ability to grip onto the bricks.

Here, three birds are on the wall and are higher up each time we peek.

Below is our last view of the birds before they disappeared too high up into the chimney for us to see. We still hear them, but they've officially left the nest! The woman at the animal rescue told us that when their wings got long enough to cross they were old enough to fly. Sadly, the fourth little guy didn't make it. It was amazing that it hung on for so long in it's strange living conditions.

As soon as the chimney swifts left the nest, almost to the day, I found this baby bird in the middle of the road. He was looking up at me, as if saying, 'help!'. I used my hat to push him to the side of the road.

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