Yesterday, I had a close encounter with a fledgling bird that was trying out its wings. The little thing took off when it saw me round a corner, but only flew a couple of feet before it perched and regarded me with a bright onyx eye:
Judging from its size and the shape of its bill, I'd have to guess that it is a fledgling mourning dove (Zenaida macroura. If you aren't familiar with Aunt Snow's blog, it's named in honor of a mourning dove sighting. The doves are common around here, and they are lovely, shy creatures. On one memorable occasion, I got closer to one than I did yesterday- in fact, I grabbed an exhausted one which had gotten into a greenhouse at work so I could release it outdoors. Luckily, it was unhurt, and was able to fly off. Unluckily, I had my phone in the pocket corresponding to the hand with which I had grabbed the bird, so I couldn't take a photograph of it, a mistake which I made sure not to repeat.