Despite tempestuous winds that have pummeled North Texas this past week, powerful enough to call for a virtually week-long wind advisory, this morning offered the maiden flight of two juvenile mockingbirds.
Standing on the patio a few moments ago, I heard the raspy, tinny call of both of them, the two perched on opposite sides of the tree. They have been out of the nest for at least a day, yet this marked the furthest they had ventured away from home.
Then the flutter of wings and a less than graceful landing on the patio roof signaled a change, a step toward adulthood. I moved quickly to see what was happening and witnessed the fledgling give another short burst of flight which carried it back into the treetop.
Along came one of its parents, gleeful and proud and standing above the child with head held high, watchful and delighted and encouraging.
With equal abandon, the second bird took to the air in a wobbly yet brief flight, one that ended with it circling the tree and landing near its sibling.
Success! Both survived, both grew, and now both fledged.
Flying still seems a bit awkward at best. One landing only succeeded because a wing caught in the branches and stopped the young avian from plummeting down through the foliage. It recovered quickly, however, hopped to another branch without so many obstacles, and tried again. Without problems.
Close to home yet diligently working to become independent of the tree that has sheltered them, the two seem healthy, strong, intent, and willing to get up and try again when things don’t go according to plan.
Soon the tree will be empty of this family, refuge only for the temporary inhabitants who come and go at will. Soon these two children will venture out one last time. Soon they will not return.