TEACHING A BABY BIRD THE FINE POINTS OF FLYING. On our walk the other day, Mary Jane and I saw a small bird take off from a branch, struggle in the breeze to turn and then return to the branch. The bird did this several times while we watched. There were two bigger birds in the vicinity. We speculated that it was a bird learning to fly, but were puzzled because it obviously seemed to already know how to fly. This post from the wiseGEEK blog answered our question: “After a few weeks of practice and imitation, young birds learn more advanced flying techniques: how to use the wind for lift, how to spot rising thermals and how to make controlled landings.” I had not realized that learning to fly is not just a matter of leaving the nest. There are a lot of skills a bird needs to fly and it takes practice to learn them.

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