I was deeply involved in cleaning up around the back yard and looking for some old trellis stands that I had lost. I was hoping to find them behind the empty planters at the far side of the house. I was a woman focused only on my mission and almost lost my balance when five wrens flew with kamikaze speed from their little Williamsburg bottle bird house that we had carefully mounted just under the shelter of the deck. I had been watching the busy mother wren for days rushing back and forth feeding her chicks. Suddenly, today, while I was directly beneath the bird house, they decided to take their first flying lesson.
I could feel the rush of air as they almost careened off the top of my head in their attempt to gain altitude when they flew like crazy fighter pilots into the nearby brush at the edge of the woods. There was much incessant chattering (wren chatter sounds like a hissing leaky faucet) from mom and dad as they watched in panic each bird landing on a twig and falling over into the grass or landing on the plastic screen of the deer fence and rotating upside down like a tired gymnast as their grip loosened. I couldn't help but smile as I watched one baby bird swinging upside down and staring up at the sky, not the most dignified or safest image.
While watching this drama I looked carefully through the green jungle and counted three little wrens with chubby round bodies like brown golf balls and no long up tail to assist with balance in flight or landing. Their underdeveloped wings barely kept them airborne.
Mom (or dad) got one of them to a nearby small tree and proceeded to feed the little one an insect. This may have been a visual bribe as the other baby wrens became more interested in learning how to navigate and headed toward mom and dad.
The day was cool and there was no nasty weather forecast in the days ahead. This family may just make it. I left them alone so that they could concentrate on survival...and I thought raising my kids was sometimes very tough.