Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to fly in four easy moves...

I was watching this young Little Blue Heron flapping and stretching his wings, practicing for the big take-off, when I noticed he was mimicking his mama. If the adult would flap, the baby would too. If the adult reined it in, so would the baby. It was funny to watch, and the following imaginary scene of an adult instructing a child on the finer points of flight played in my mind...

"Okay, son, just do what I do, and you'll be golden..."

...you have to stretch those wings wide to produce enough air flow to create lift...

...wing position is critical for sharp turns...

...again...pay attention to that wingspan!

That was fun, ma! Can we do it again? Am I ready to fly yet? I felt great. How'd I look? Can we do it again?

I saw these two on June 8, 2011 at Ibis Pond on Pinckney Island near Hilton Head, SC. In addition to strengthening and stretching its wings to gain strength for eventual flight, the baby was getting used to perching on limbs instead of just sitting in the nest. A lot of wing flapping goes on in the rookery, and it's fun to watch!

26 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

wow! amazing to watch them synchronize like that! and mama's midnight blues are beautiful!

Kelly said...

...it was funny. That's the first time I've ever seen such matching postures show up in my photos. Maybe they were just playing Simon Says... :-)

Roy said...

Great shots of initial flight training Kelly.

rebeccainthewoods said...

Amazing photos, as always! Some skills critters are born with but some they have to learn...

Lois Evensen said...

You caught such great moments! Fabulous! :) This baby has never flown, but is sure learning the basics to know how.

In an earlier life I taught early childhood development. This reminds me of how newborn human babies will mimic an adult face by copying the sticking out the tongue even when they have never seen themselves in a mirror.

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely thoughts and pics.A beautiful bird, I enjoy their grace in the sky.

Wanda..... said...

You did a great voice over, Kelly! It was like watching a short video! :)

Janice K said...

What a fun post! They are so pretty.

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

In a word..... Priceless!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Like Mama---like Son!!!! Love it Kelly... Those pictures are awesome...
Hugs,
Betsy

Montanagirl said...

Excellent captures, Kelly! Love your commentary too - how funny!

Elaine said...

I love it, Kelly! The photos are great and your commentary is just right. That little guy is a good mimic, much like my two-year-old granddaughter! Always be careful what you say and do around a two-year-old....

holdingmoments said...

What an amazing sequence Kelly.
A great sight to witness; and the young one was copying perfectly.

Hilke Breder said...

Terrific photos and story, Kelly. Babies, by the way,imitate their parents too, i.e. sticking out tongue when mom does so. You captured an astonishing sequence!

Birding is Fun! said...

Great photos and fun commentary! My wife and I swear that we have observed Quail flight-training sessions.

KAT said...

wow that was cool...you have a great eye for interesting shots...do you ever do other types of photography like landscapes or people ?
KAT Griffin

Tammie Lee said...

ah, how fun to get to witness this. something so tender about youngsters learning from their parents.

Brian said...

What a great catch of nature to see the small window that every parent teaches its young. I really love the deep blue of the mama feathers.

Chris said...

That mamma has a terribly big wingspan!!! And its color is so bright!!! I can see baby copied her very well and both gave you a nice "show-pictures" time... A beautiful set Kelly!

NCmountainwoman said...

So perfect...I don't have the right words to describe it. What a great sighting with great photographs as well.

Ginnymo said...

Awww! What cute photos!! It must have been fun to watch them.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Great sequence of photos, and I love your captions! I think you've just about read their minds!

Mary said...

Wow...what wonderful photos! A beautiful bird! I love the series and how the baby is mimicking the mama. Cute!

Caroline said...

What a fabulous set of photos of the dynamic duo in action!

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone!! You are always so kind and supportive! What a sight...I've never seen a baby and adult interact quite as consistent as this. As I said earlier, it was like watching a game of Simon Says. Pinckney Island is such a wonderful place to witness this type of behavior...and watch babies grow up. I wish I lived there so I could see it for more than one week a summer!! :-)

Banjo52 said...

Entertaining and informative! Great photos again.