He seemed to be getting ready to fly. He acted like he wanted to try so I set up some tall branches (cut from our trees) in our little barn for him to practice flying in. I closed the wire doors to the little barn so that he wouldn't get lost while he was learning to fly from branch to branch. Henry could practice flying while I was close taking care of our other animals.
I kept an eye on him while I worked and he would chirp loudly whenever I would walk by, almost like he wanted me to stop and watch his new accomplishments. Of course, I did and he would show off like the real ham he is.
He flew around from branch to branch and started getting really good at navigating the branches.
One night in early July, Henry was out with me and he was flying from the hay stack to the pick-up truck and back again. He had made this loop several times.
Then it happened, he lifted himself up to a tall tree and just sat there on a branch. Way up on a high branch. It was dusk and he was sitting in the tree that wasn't too far away from the hawk's nest. I whistled and called him but he didn't budge. He just sat right in that one spot on the branch.
I sat on the ground and watched him until it got dark then went inside for the night. I knew there was nothing I could do. I just had to trust him in his natural environment.
Henry decided he was going to stay in that big tree that night and so he did! I went out the following morning very early and he was gone.
So, disappointed, I went back inside to do some catch-up work and as I was working on the computer early that morning I saw a cluster of three sparrows outside my window. The "mother" was putting insects from the sidewalk in a young sparrow's mouth! I thought it looked like Henry.
I hoped against hope that it was Henry and he had already found a group of birds to call his family. But I knew that was a far fetched notion.
I finished working and walked outside to start serving breakfast to all the rescued barn animals we care for.
Then I heard that familiar chirp! There was Henry in the tree by the deck chirping at me! He flew low towards me to make sure I saw him.