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January 1965

Teaching to Fly Alone

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(1):1. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020003001

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EACH YEAR in the spring a pair of cardinals comes to nest in the thick vine on the back porch of my home. The homemakers are wise in selection of the site. The nest is quite hidden from hostile eyes outside the porch; for the few humans who inhabit the house, it is clearly in view. With fascination I have watched the development of a home—twigs, straws, feathers, and hair molded crudely to the shape of a bowl—then, four blue-green eggs and soon four downy birdlings—papa and mama dropping worms, bugs, and other food into upturned open bills—a week or so, the down is gone and feathers have taken its place. The parents have been devoted and, of course, feverishly busy. I think they do not lose sight of a final instinctive goal. I never tire watching this last phase of maternal activity. First, one little bird and then

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