Back to Back Issues Page
Bird School, Part 1
August 08, 2016
Hi,

A short, but well needed respite.

As you know, Karen and I (Lord willing), spend a few days every summer at our favorite Bed and Breakfast in Petoskey, Michigan.

Sitting 100 feet from shore on the Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan.

For us, it is a small slice of paradise, I even call it my home away from home.

I am sharing a few pictures with you as I usually do.

Sunsets, views from the B&B front porch, our window and a few things along our tourist travels.

I have a thing for barn quilts and stop to snap a picture.

Some regions even have maps for barn quilt tours.

Pictured is a sign where a rather large and old White pine once stood, and was called the council tree or something like that.

I was told by a local, the tree was struck by lightening a few years ago.

I had read about the tree and a place for meetings.

One of my tasks was to find this location (just to say I did it).

We really enjoyed ourselves, as always it is bitter sweet to leave, nice to get home.

(View from our window.)

There is also a picture of a sign where a large and old White pine once stood, and was called the council tree or something like that.

I was told by a local, the tree was struck by lightening a few years ago.

I had read about the tree and a place for meetings.

One of my tasks was to find this location (just to say I did it).

We really enjoyed ourselves, as always it is bitter sweet to leave, nice to get home.

Gardens continue to grow.

Flowers need to be deadheaded and maybe due for another haircut.

Another batch of fledglings have made their way from the nest to our yard.

The last brood for most birds.

Still other birds, even here in the north are still busy.

Northern cardinals are still courting and singing their song.

Morning doves are frisky.

And then there is the American goldfinch that nests late to capitalize on all the flowers and weeds going to seed.

Goldfinches are almost 100% seed eaters and wait for this bounty to nest.

Sometimes having two broods, even in Michigan.

This week is Part 1 of a Two part series on birds learning everything they need to increase chances of survival.

Enjoy.

School Is In:

(Regatta from porch.)

Some Things Baby Birds Need to Learn:

Fledgling and Juvenile birds have to be educated and trained for their life.

Literally..

Though not exactly in the way we are trained, they still must learn survival skills.

We must learn to crawl before we can walk and walk before we can run.

Birds must strengthen their legs too, but learning to fly is paramount for most bird species.

Baby birds tend to first fly away from the nest, when the parents are away after food.

The fledge, and are now called 'Fledglings'.

Sometimes, a parent will try to coax a nestling who is afraid to try his wings.

I have watched young birds leave a nest or nest box several times.

Yet, one seems to remain, too timid to try.

Baby will stand on the edge of the nest, or peak its head from the box and cry.

Not wanting to leave the comforts of the only world it knows.

A parent may come along to see him now and then, but the big world was to scary.

Finally it may be coaxed out by mom or dad holding a juicy worm or insect just out of reach from baby.

Now the parent moves a bit further away until baby forgets its fears and pursues the food.

Fledging:

This is one aspect of backyard birding I really enjoy.

Most fledglings still need to master the art of flying and this takes place over the next few weeks.

I'm sure you have seen a fledgling clumsily do a nose dive into a shrub or make a crash landing.

Not able to turn, or know how to make a gentle landing.

The grace and beauty of flight will come, as the young birds learn how to use and maneuver each feather individually for specific needs and duties.

A miraculous feat in itself when you think about it.

The youngsters attempt to stay out of harms way and manage to call for food.

The yards and parks are full of fledged birds.

Robins, cardinals, doves, and more.

Calls seem to change immediately, from baby cries of a nestling, to a cry of fear and to let the parents know where they are.

Locally, Red-tailed hawks have fledged.

To see a fledged bird of prey, the size of an adult as it cries like a baby is something else.

Here is this large bird, almost helpless as it cries out of fear and hunger.

Mommy, Daddy,...... where are you?

"I'm hungry and afraid."

Within a few weeks, this creature will too become an apex predator.

As flying skills improve, the baby/fledgling must learn several other life supporting skills.

Going to Bird School, a bird must learn these basics:

Find their own food.

Where to sleep.

What to fear.

How to protect itself from their enemies.

Different calls and cries of their family, and what each call means.

Learn distress calls from other species (danger is near).

Learn to fly in a flock with other birds.

And learn to sing and communicate.

As the Dog Days of summer are in full swing, so is Bird School.

Next week I will finish this two part series.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work.

Faith is mighty, but action with faith is mightier.

Thomas Robert Gaines

We all need dreams.

However, dreams without work and faith are dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”

Show me your faith without your works,

and I will show you my faith by my works.

But do you want to know, O foolish man,

that faith without works is dead?

James 2 18 and 20



An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson



PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.



Gardening For Wildlife.


























Back to Back Issues Page