Fledgling (by artos_thebear)
It was a couple months ago now that Geoff and I were leaving for the grocery store when he spotted what looked like a little bundle of dead leaves, but, on closer inspection, turned out to be a baby bird. If I had to guess, I’d say it was some kind of sparrow from the size and markings, but it’s hard to tell them apart at the age (and often when they’re adults too). This one had some feathers, but was clearly not really flying yet from his huddled position on the ground.
After consulting the Audubon Society online, we learned that the fledgling period is very important to the bird’s development. If they don’t try to fly and flutter to the ground, they never gain the strength they need to truly fly. And the parent birds are never far away when one of their babies is on the ground.
So while my natural inclination is to take every animal I come across, especially who seem to be in any need, and invite them into my home for a life of gluttonous luxury, it was decided it would be wisest to not interfere. The Audubon Society did say that if you felt the bird was too exposed, you could safely transfer it to a nearby bush, not so far that the parents wouldn’t find it, but just to get it a little out of the spotlight. With all the dogs in our yard, that seemed like a good call to make. And apparently it’s a myth that the parents will reject it if they smell humans on it! So I did get to very briefly hold this delicate, fragile, beautiful little creature in my hands and place him a little inside a handy flower bush.
I already had a shoot set a few days later with Dedeker Winston and decided to remember the sweet little creature with a photo inspired by him. And what a beautiful lesson to take away; without risk, without stepping outside the familiar and comfortable, without taking the leap, we will never learn to fly either. That’s a lesson I hope to keep with me.