Originally I had the above photograph and the following three paragraphs for one of my Saturday emails called A Closer Look:
I hadn't even closed the front door. But, there it was -- one of the Brown Thrasher parents on the power line, a serving of breakfast for the nestlings clinched in its beak. Morning light outlined its feathers and the wings of the catch. In real life, it was beautiful.
Prior to and since that moment, I have watched the Brown Thrasher pair -- first building their nest in the shrub next to the front door, then sitting upon the eggs, and now feeding their young. Many times they've hung out on the power line. They've been bold enough to come on the porch while I've sat there. They've just looked at me as I stood still not 10 feet away out in the yard, watching as they gathered food for their young.
I've read that Brown Thrasher nestlings may fledge as early as nine days from hatching; that is any day now. Will I "happen" to be there in that moment and get to see it?
* * *
Well...not ten minutes after writing the above post for A Closer Look, that did happen. I was on the front porch again, talking on the phone with a friend. I hadn't seen the Brown Thrasher parents entering the bush during that time...but then I saw a fuzzy little something hopping on the ground nearby...and one of the winged adults came up to it a few seconds after. I didn't actually see the little one fledge, but what I was observing must not have been too long afterward.
The next 30 minutes were a sweet gift. I watched from a distance as the little fledgling awkwardly hopped back and forth behind the bushes, testing out its proportionately gangly legs. I observed as the parents went back and forth, bringing him food. I listened to him call out, and smiled as he cocked his head then followed a parent. I was startled when a parent flew down from a wall to gather food for the little one...and the fledgling followed, dropping six feet but apparently to no harm.
(Please click the arrow on the right side of the image to see other photos.)
Brown Thrashers have held a special place in my heart for many years. They were the first bird I learned to identify when I was well into my adult years. It was from being intrigued by Brown Thrasher nests that I learned that each bird species creates a distinct type. I have sweet memories of when my own children were "nestlings" and we watched as a pair of Brown Thrashers built a nest in a bush right outside a bedroom window, then busily fed their young. I can still hear the voices of my kids as they, too, learned the name of the bird but had a little trouble saying it; "Bwown Fwashuh" will ever be the name in my heart for these birds.
So yes, today was a gift. I had been given the opportunity to watch this Brown Thrasher family since it was first checking out our bushes to find the place for their nest. Will I get to see them over the next few days as the fledgling becomes a juvenile and soon starts testing its wings?
I don't know. But believe me, I'll be looking.
(...and the next morning, I did...)
In this post I mentioned my nature email, A Closer Look. This Saturday email is simply one of my photos and a short bit of original writing (much shorter than this blog entry). It’s a quiet way to start the weekend and be encouraged to see the intricacies in nature that are all around you. To subscribe (it’s free), please fill in the form near the bottom of the Contact/Subscribe form on my website: www.wren-photos.com.