Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Carolina Chickadee Baby

On the way to the mailbox, I see movement in an azalea and look what I see!  He's tiny, about - oh - three inches long?  Really small.

He looks at me but doesn't fly away. I grab the mail and go back inside for the camera.  I come back, without my dog this time, and kneel down to see him. I wonder if he's hurt, really hoping he isn't, and see that he doesn't appear to be.  We regard each other for what seems like a very long time.

Then, maybe he's tired of the camera-clicking stranger, or just hungry, but he calls for assistance. I walk away to give him some space. Soon, a mother chickadee flies down and chirp-chirp-chirps at him. He hops a few feet away into another azalea and she flies to a nearby branch, still giving instructions.


The day before I found a chickadee in my azalea, I had gotten a newsletter from Birdhouse on the Greenway describing "hoppers" which are young birds just learning to fly, hopping along on the ground while they test their wings.  Don't worry about them; they don't need help back into the nest, the newsletter said.  It went on to suggest keeping your cats and dogs away, but to otherwise leave them alone and let them hop, that mothers are often nearby and if you wait, you might see them check on their baby or even bring him food.