Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Birds on the Wing …Oh to be free to fly

This afternoon when I returned home there was a very noisy pee wee (Magpie-lark - Grallina cyanoleuca) sitting in the back windscreen washer of our car having a lot to say about the state of the universe.

Usually, when a bird does that, it is trying to distract you from a mate sitting on eggs or its own youngster nearby. I stopped and it didn’t take too long to see that there was a reasonably young bird hopping along on the ground nearby. Kids these days; they think they are big enough to fly the coop far before they can!

I kept an eye on him for a while and soon, with a certain amount of encouragement from mother, he had managed to “fly” up to a low branch in a hibiscus. I felt better about that, as several of the neighbours have cats, and if he had still been on the ground come nightfall, he would have probably been in a fairly precarious position.

Mum seemed quite a bit happier about the situation also, and decided it was time to organise dinner. His flying skills weren’t very well honed as yet and a lot of wing flapping took place before he attempted take off. Level flying wasn’t a lot better, actually it didn’t exist. There may have even been some other type of CAT (clear air turbulence) problem! However, he managed, over a period of time to flutter and scratch his way higher up the tree, until he made it to a palm leaf of reasonable height and protection, when he rested.

Even though it was almost dark, I was able to get a photo of him practising his take offs, with claws still firmly attached to the branch.

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