Last night we were having a late dinner at the kitchen counter when I looked out the back door to see a tiny bird sitting on a pink pool noddle under the pool stairs. I thought he'd been sitting there and taking a "bath" the ways birds sometimes do, and pointed him out to Francine and Alexander.
He was sitting a few inches away from the little floating duck thermometer we got a few weeks ago; this is the one that Alexander dubbed "duck guy."
Alexander, of course, wasn't satisfied watching the bird through the window. He announced he was full and done eating and wanted to go say hi to the bird. We, of course, cautioned him that the moment he opened the back door, the bird would likely be scared and fly away.
So he went outside.
The bird didn't fly away.
Alexander called to him in the loud voice he often uses when speaking with critters in the back yard. "Oh biiiiiiird!" he yelled. "Hey, biiiirdieeee!"
No reaction. It simply sat on the pool noodle and looked around a bit.
Then Alexander rounded the pool and climbed up on the ladder. I thought for sure it would fly away.
When it didn't we realized something was wrong. So we went outside, saw it was a baby bird and figured it somehow got stuck there and was unable to fly away. At that point we could hear the mother bird frantically chirping from a tree in a nearby backyard.
The bird floated around, looking rather concerned, but still didn't fly away.
For several minutes it sat there, chirping. We could hear the mother bird chirping back from the nearby tree.
Then it made what seemed to be a daring effort, flapped its wings frantically and flew the few inches it needed to get to the side of the pool. It stood there for a few seconds before attempting to fly again, but crashed into the nearby fence and fell into the grass.
We watched it hopping around in the grass before heading to the corner of the yard near a small sapling. That's when the mother bird swooped in and started hopping around in the soil with it. They seemed to be chattering on about something, and then the mother bird and the baby hopped into the sapling and started slowing making their way from branch to branch, higher and higher. About halfway up, the mother flew to the top of the fence and sat there chirping until the baby finally climbed to the top of the tree and then flew the remaining foot or so.
They both remained on the fence for perhaps another minute, still chattering away, then both launched themselves off the fence and took flight.
The three of us cheered, having witnessed a small flight for baby bird, but a huge indication of the patience, grace and inspiration of mother-kind.