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"Crash": The not so graceful Titmouse.

Category: The back yard | Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:37 pm

Most of us take for granted the abilities of our feathered friends. After all, the lessons of spring given by coaxing parents lend to graceful winged flights of summer. At least that's what one expects.

The family of Titmice were like most, flying from branch to branch as they approached the feeder. Mom and dad leading the three hatchlings on a foraging trip to our backyard. It looked as if all was going to plan until one of the three failed to land on the rim, flapping furiously at the feeders edge. The aborted landing resulted in a return to a nearby branch without the usual seed. While the others were busy opening their sunflower rewards the youngster made another try for the morning meal. His wings would open too late and he bounced off the feeder unable to grab the edge. Again and again he tried, no luck. Clearly this Titmouse had not mastered the technique of landing on the feeder. His siblings and cousins landed and took their time looking over the menu rejecting some seeds before choosing their meal. At best he could grab a rejected seed while flapping, a good seed was out of the question. "Crash" could land on a branch but not the feeder.

Air traffic control was needed, otherwise, Crash was not going to have a full stomach. Since landing a branch was no problem I attached a one to the feeder. With the addition of feeder's new feature, identification of Crash became tenuous at best. The days grew longer as the Summer solstice neared. During one of the feeder refills I did not replace the branch. I watched. Sure enough, out of the flock of Titmice a flurry of beating wings singled out Crash. More practice landings were needed. The stick was re-installed. Day by day the Summer rolled on. The birds continued to use the branch. Once again I removed the landing aid and waited. Now only one bird had a somewhat unorthodox landing. Crash could land on the feeder with a few extra flaps. The branch was no longer needed. With the advent of Fall Crash has now melted into the periodic flocks of Chickadees, Nuthatches and Titmice. All the birds now read the menu before choosing their seed. Among them an extra happy Titmouse with a choice meal. :-)

Last edited: Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:57 pm

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Frank wrote on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:06 am:

Some just need an extra branch to get started in life :)


Palm Tree wrote on Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:31 am:

The way you write will really make a great read for both adults and children.

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