April 30, 2012

first flight

I got to see a baby bird's first flight! A pair of chickadees nesting in our apple tree kicked the fledglings out so they would learn to fly and live on their own. They hopped around on our driveway for a couple hours and hung out in the shade of our van.

Doesn't he look proud of his contour feathers?
When my dad needed to leave to take the van somewhere, I think to get the oil changed, I carefully moved Conrad and Twitty with a broom to safer areas of the driveway. Yes, that is what I named them.

Can you see that piece of down that is about to come off from his left side in the next picture? In case you were wondering, down feathers are different from contour feathers, the ones used for flight, in that they are next to the skin and used for insulation. On feathers, there is a shaft running down the middle, from which barbules attach. Some of the barbules are hooked and some are smooth on contour feathers so they can attach to each other, providing the strength and flexibility necessary for flight. Down feathers only have smooth barbules, making down comforters so very comforting! Now you know.

I didn't watch Twitty all the time, but I kept a close eye on Conrad. hardee har har, of course I did! Anyway, I shaded him from the sun, and after waiting, saw him take his first wobbly flight. I cheered and tried not to be jealous of his attached plane tickets to wherever he wants to go.

I really did try to restrain myself from petting him. Supposedly that's bad, but I did anyway, and boy, those down feathers were super soft! I'll never forget my babies. Spring has sprung.


  1. Isn't God's creation incredible? I'm so glad you had this opportunity and took the time to really learn from it. Love you!


  2. so awesome. the birdies so cute. :)

  3. Ah! There SO cute!
    haha! love the names!!;);)

    Holt5 <3 (@)

  4. Love the names! Sounds exciting! I'm surprised they let you pet them! Aren't they wild?

    1. Yep, but they didn't know to be afraid. I was very careful!


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