For several weeks now, we’ve had baby cliff swallows in this nest high above our front door under the eaves. At first we could only see the edge of their beaks, and couldn’t tell how many were up there as they would come to the edge and then go back.
But they soon grew and began jockeying for position in the ever-shrinking nest. Five abreast, pushing up, up, and up to the edge of nest – they waited for mom and dad to bring breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And then they learned how to turn around on the edge of the nest and leave me with presents that required pretty much daily clean-up of the front porch.
Then one afternoon last week, I watched the mama (or dad) fly all around the nest, chirping intently and landing all around the nest — clinging to the side of the walls and landing on the hanging light fixture.
I’m certain she was saying, “Come on out, you can do it, just flap your wings, come on now!” They kept opening their beaks for food, but mama wasn’t bringing them food, she was giving them a lesson.
And sure enough, the next day, one lone little swallow ventured out to the lamp. He sat there, looking very alone and a little forlorn, with all his siblings across the way, safely cocooned in the nest.
But soon he was joined by another sibling. And for the last 3-4 days, they’ve all be flying around and around our house – soaring in the blue sky, chirping happily to one another — 5 not-so-little babies and two proud parents.
What a sight it is to see and their song is full of joy. I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of it.