Have your parents ever made you think that, instead of concerns about your (professional) future, their heads are filled to the brim with utter nonsense? That was my thought exactly when I came unexpectedly upon this fledgling sparrow hawk as it perched, somewhat lost and disheveled, right next to a footpath in the Erbach municipal forest. Nowhere to be seen were the parents, who usually hang out somewhere in the vicinity of their apparently-abandoned chicks. Although the small raptor was by no means shy, I took just a handful of pictures and walked quickly on.
When I returned three hours later, the runaway had disappeared – a good example of how young animals in the wild only rarely need protection and human intervention. Usually the parents are loitering somewhere nearby, just waiting for the coast to clear. Would that we could remain so calm when dealing with the silliness in the heads of our own children, now and forever after!