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Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Crisis

Legs, spindly underneath its immature body, the mockingbird still needed its parent's care. The young bird's home for the moment was a cracked, gray concrete sidewalk leading up to a vacant city home. The overgrown lawn provided little cover and no protection to the almost flightless youngster as its parents watched from nearby.
Frantically, they chirped and fluttered in a panicked effort to encourage their offspring to fly.  Periodically, while I watched from my car window, one parent would run in from the nearby weeds with some food to drop into a gaping mouth.  I noticed that the birds did not fly in from above to the stranded chick.  Probably that would have brought it too much attention should a cat or other predator be lurking nearby.
Even at its young age the bird knew enough to be wary of me sitting in in my parked car. Finally the parents were successful in coaxing the gray, speckled chick onto the porch of the deserted house then to the railing and finally into an overgrown shrub where it would be safe enough until it was ready to fly.

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