Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bye,bye Barbet.

This morning the juvenile Crested Barbet in the nesting log
in our garden said "Goodbye".
Not only to us, but to its parents as well...
I saw this departure as analogy for parents,
both human and animal who have to bid their
offspring "Farewell" at some point.

I have been watching the youngster for the past few days,
and I was hoping that I would be there to see it leave.
As a parent, I thought of when my daughter left home.
First to go and study in Paris, France
and then to go and live and work in Cape Town.
Was this Barbet ready to spread its wings?
I waited with baited breath

There was a lot of uncertainty as to how it might play out.
It appeared and disappeared back into the log more than once.
As if trying to make up it's mind.

Each time it came to the entrance,
it would "expose" more of itself. 

Much like a diver stepping up to the edge of the high board
in preparation for the launch

Almost out...
But not quite ready to go yet.

The last image that I have of parent and offspring.

My final image of the youngster,
just before it launched.
I was expecting it to hop onto a nearby branch,
however this was not to be.
Once out of the hole, it flew off immediately...

The parent arrived back with food,
to try to tempt junior out,
but it had already gone...
The Crested Barbet, 
(Trachyphonus vaillantii
('trachys'=rough, 'phone'=voice, sound') 
is a sub-Saharan bird in the Lybiidae family. 
Its specific name commemorates Fran├žois Levaillant
a famed French naturalist.

A look inside confirmed that no-one was home...

A final meal that had not been eaten.
The parent birds returned from time to time "post departure"
seemingly distressed by the fact that their "baby" had gone.
I know that the human analogy is not quite the same.
Yes, our children leave home, but we as parents
hope that they will stay in contact.
In the wild, once the youngsters are gone,
the parents move on to the next brood.

The nesting log is now vacant,
but I can still hear the adult Barbets calling...
I do hope that they will continue to use this log
for further generations.
And that the youngster will have a happy and fulfilling life.

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