Fledgling Summer

If eggs are beautifully wrapped gifts with beguiling potential and naked hatchlings are the unsightly presents precious to the giver but not necessarily the giftee, by the time nestlings have put on fluffy down and are begging for food with wide, brightly colored gapes, most recipients would consider them at least acceptable, if not downright attractive offerings.

Once fledglings leave the nest and learn the ins and outs of being birds, it would take an uninterested or hardened soul not to feel at least a smidgen of sympathy for the remarkable creatures that have transmutated from yolk to feathered beings capable (or almost capable) of flight.

Nature’s predictable (which does not equal uninteresting) patterns have the ability to anchor and ground us in what are otherwise unsettling and unsettled times. It is with gratitude that I received this summer’s fledgling gifts, and with gratitude that I am sharing them with you.

Red-winged Blackbird–very recently fledged

Killdeer–very recently fledged (but already trying out those wings!)

Spotted Sandpiper siblings–recently fledged

Wild Turkey–recently fledged

Bullock’s Oriole–still has its sweet baby face, but already takes care of itself

American Robin–already quite independent, though usually with one of the parents nearby

Say’s Phoebe–fairly grown-up already

PS: The featured photo above shows three fledged Barn Swallows perched on a branch, already capable of flight, but still quite happy to be fed by their parents.

79 thoughts on “Fledgling Summer

  1. Hello Tanja,
    How lovely indeed. What a privilege it must have been, to witness these moments. All the more so given the unique circumstances of this year. Thank you for sharing, and giving me hope 🙂
    Hope you and all your dear ones continue to take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Takami. I do feel very privileged for having had the opportunity to spend time in nature–away from people–without endangering myself or anybody else. It’s hard for me to fathom how difficult it was/is for individuals to be in complete lock-down mode.
      Birdy greetings,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy watching fledgling house sparrows, newly emerged from the nest, pestering their parents to be fed. You know what I mean, fluttering their little wings furiously just inches from mum: “feed me, feed me” they seem to say. Poor mum looks so tired and worn out, and I’m sure it crosses her mind that reproduction is a thoroughly bad idea which she won’t bother with the following year! 🙂 Incidentally, I love the little Killdeer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One may conclude that several animal species have had second thoughts about their offspring. 😊
      Or maybe not, but I’m sure that all parents have been tired of their begging, at times obnoxious babies, but one hopes it’s a passing feeling.
      I was VERY excited to see the little killdeer (and its sibling, incidentally), my first encounter with them at this stage (the same is true for the Spotted Sandpipers). It has been a summer full of surprises, many of them good, and I’m very grateful.


  3. Great shots of the various fledglings. I must admit I have a very soft spot for fledglings. At our home in the woods, various fledglings follow their parents to our feeders, and I enjoy watching as they flutter their wings and say “feed me!” For a while, the parents do, but then the time comes when the fledglings must feed themselves. Very poignant to witness the maturing of the fledglings.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Liebe Tanja,
    das sind wirklich einfühlsame Bilder von liebenswerten Vogelkindern.
    Die drei gelbbrüstigen Nestlinge (sind das Schwalben???) auf dem Ast sind mir auf den ersten Blick ins Herz gehüpft.
    Herzensdank für diesen anschaulichen Piepmatz-Reigen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Es freut mich, daß Dir die Bilder der Vogelkinder gefallen, liebe Ulrike. Bei den dreien im obersten Photo handelt es sich um Rauchschwalben, die zahlreichsten und weitverbreitetsten Schwalben der Welt. Ich finde sie auch allerliebst.

      Nur eine Nebenfrage–Du bist zweisprachig, oder? Ich kann mich erinnern, daß einer Deiner Eltern anglophon aufwuchs, doch nun weiß ich nicht mehr, ob Du davon in der Kindheit profitiert hast.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Liebe Tanja,
        ich bin einsprachig aufgewachsen, weil man damals meinte, es würde Kinder verwirren mehrsprachig großzuwerden.
        Also haben meine englische Mutter und mein türkischer Vater nur Deutsch mit mir gesprochen.
        Englisch habe ich später in der Schule gelernt, Türkisch habe leider nie gelernt, auch wenn der Klang mir vertraut ist.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jetzt, wo ich Deine Zeilen lese, erinnere ich mich wieder an unseren Austausch, liebe Ulrike. Das ist schade, war aber nicht ungewöhnlich wie Du auch erwähnst.

        Stell Dir vor, wie es gewesen wäre, dreisprachig aufgewachsen zu sein, besonders weil Du eine solche Affinität für Sprachen hast. Deine wunderbaren Neologismen und Wortzaubereien müßten sich nicht auf Deutsch beschränken! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ja, ich frage mich auch gelegentlich, wieviel umfangreicher mein WORTSCHATZVERMÖGEN geworden wäre, wenn ich von klein auf dreisprachig erzogen worden wäre. Aber es hat sich nicht ergeben.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lieben Dank für Dein Kompliment zu meinem börsenunabhängigen Sprachvermögen. 😉
        Ich habe Wochenenddienst im Museum und je nach Besucheranzahl wird das durchaus kommunikativ sein. 🙂
        Auch Dir ein behagliches und schönes Wochenende,

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been lucky enough to see a variety of fledgings this year: mockingbirds, bluejays, Carolina wrens, sparrows, starlings, chickadees. There must be some young doves coming to the feeders, too, but either they grow more quickly or are large to start with. I’ve never been able to separate dove fledglings from the adults.

    For some weeks after I installed the feeders in my new place, no one came. Then, a pair of house finches showed up, and the rest is history. I can’t count the number of birds at this point. There surely are more than a hundred at a time. If we build it, they will come!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So many lovely pictures! I only know Robins as fledglings, as last year they have had a nest at my house. It was a delight to see them emerge…. little beaks first, and then the steady growing litte creatures. Always hungry! And then, the big day and they left their nest! Afterwards, my house and even my life seemed empty for a while….
    Kindest regards,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ach, ich schmelze dahin! Was für zauberhafte Bilder liebe Tanja. Alle diese Tier bzw. Vogelkinder muß man sofort ins Herz schließen. Sie sind so anrührend, diese kleinen Lebewesen, wie sie ihre ersten Schritte ins Leben machen. Tolle Aufnahmen sind dir gelungen. Hast du im Frühling die ganze Zeit auf der Lauer gelegen 😉 ? Bei den Schwalben mit ihren putzigen Mündern habe ich immer das Gefühl, daß sie ein wenig beleidigt gucken. Vielleicht, weil sie vom Füttern entwöhnt werden 😉 Danke für diesen schönen Beitrag!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Es freut mich sehr, daß Dir die Vogelbabys gefallen, liebe Almuth. Ich hatte einfach Glück so vielen diesen Frühling zu begegnen, denn ich war ständig in der Natur unterwegs (meist weit weg von anderen Menschen).
      Und keine der Jünglinge wollen einsehen, warum sie selbst ihr Futter fangen sollen, wenn da doch ihre Eltern sind, die sie anbetteln können und eigentlich ziehen sie alle ein Schnute. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved your post Tanja❤ Courtesy my father’s interest in growing lots of plants and trees, I grew up watching different types of nests weaving process, how carefully they protect their eggs and chicks from squirrels and tirelessly bringing food for them. Your beautiful photos just revived all those memories!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your prose is poetic, Tanja. I enjoyed the reading as much as the images. I never find fledglings unattractive. I don’t see this many, but the ones I do are adorable in my eyes. Every year we get to enjoy both robin and phoebe hatchlings develop into recognizable species here in the yard. A small collection but so enjoyable to witness. Some years there are even two sets of each. With the warming environment that may become more common, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Steve, I’m elated to know that you are enjoying both words and images.
      How exciting to have birds nest in your yard. It’s something we haven’t observed yet, but we are trying to redesign the yard in order to attract even more birds, together with bees and butterflies. The more the merrier. 🐦🐝🦋

      Liked by 1 person

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