“I have never known birds of different species to flock together.”
Mrs. Bundy (Ethel Griffies)
The Birds (Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)
Daphane Du Mauier (story), Evan Hunter (screenplay)
Today I saw something that I had never seen before. Last week I mentioned in passing the we had a bird nesting two feet from our back door. Well, today I saw one of them fly for the first time in its short life. On Sunday we noticed that the sleeping quarters for three baby robins was getting tight. Monday morning there were only two in the nest with no sign of the third. This morning around 6:45 AM bird #2 was out of the nest and perched on a ledge getting the courage to fly (sort of like mama bird is doing in the above photo I took yesterday).
Bird #2 would lean forward and then back up. He or she would then flap their wings a little and I just knew I was going to see history in the making. I kept looking in the yard to see if any cats had wandered into the area. The coast looked clear. I wondered if the bird would just quickly fall on the deck and then struggle to get off the ground before any predators came. To my amazement after a 15 minute debate the bird finally jumped, dipped down a little but then soared upward and was gone. Later I heard that the third bird flew away as well.
Like an indie film, the success rates of these birds surviving through the next year are not great. But I was glad to see this drama played out and—at least for this part of the story— all appears to have gone well. The nest got built, the eggs were laid, successfully guarded from danger, the birds were hatched, and now they’ve learned to fly. Since this kind of thing has happened everyday for thousands of years, it’s not exactly and epic story—but then again since it’s the first time (and perhaps the last time) I’ve watched that sort of drama unfold before my eyes I thought it was pretty cool.
My wife and I even went to see the new animated film Rio that just happens to center around a domesticated exotic bird in a small town in Minnesota who never learned to fly and ends up on an adventure in Rio de Janerio. It’s a fun film with the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hatheway, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez.
And to check out a visually stunning documentary check out the 2002 Academy-nominated film Winged Migration (shot on seven continents over three years).