May 11, 2005
Thanks to my neighbor Therese, I was able to get some still and video images of the baby Carolina wrens on the very day that they left the nest on her balcony. At least three have fledged so far, and there may be one more to come. This little guy (or gal?) landed in our stairway by mistake, so I helped him get into the grass. He's no bigger than a golf ball and about as light as a paper clip. (This photo is larger than life size.) The plumage is much like their parents, a rich brown above and pale cream color below, with distinct white "eyebrows." Their tails and beaks are much shorter than those of adults, however. The yellow lining around their beak is characteristic of all baby birds, apparently a guide and/or stimulus to get the parents to feed their hungry offspring. The fledglings will be hiding from predators (cats? blue jays?) in the ivy for the next few days, while they gradually learn how to fly.