Since losing two of the baby wrens last week, I've been keeping a close eye on the nest in the grill and the ground around the base. Tonight after I finished washing dinner dishes, I took a peek through the window, and saw a little face staring back at me (click on any of the images to see a larger version):
Of course I grabbed the camera, tiptoed out and checked the other side of the grill, where two more little faces eyed me:
They weren't afraid of me, so I was able to get close enough to take these shots without upsetting them. Then I retreated and went to get my guy and the kids.
Both of their parents were flying back and forth, trying to coax them out of the grill, but were too fast for me to catch with my camera. So we sat on the porch and just enjoyed the show as all three baby wrens left the nest to take their first solo flights.
It took about an hour for them to stretch their wings, making little fluttery practice hops from the grill to the ground to the back of our trailer and up to the trunk of a nearby oak. Only one ended up flying the wrong way -- toward the porch instead of the woods out back -- and got stuck for a minute in a corner:
But he turned himself around (me stalking him with the camera was apparently just the motivation he needed) and a few minutes later joined his family.
The most delightful thing about all the nests we've had around the house this spring has been the opportunity to watch and photograph these moments, see things we've never witnessed, and appreciate the beauty and wonder of Nature at such close range. I've never experienced anything like it. Birds are amazing critters.
And now we really need to clean out the grill.