Monday, June 05, 2017

5 Weeks!

All 4 of the chicks have now made it to the upper ledge!
Another milestone is the chicks are working on feeding themselves at times:
And here is a video of one running the length of the ledge and practice flapping.  First flights are usually around 40 days.  The oldest chick will be 40 days this weekend. Before they will be ready to leave the nest, they have more brown juvenile feathers to come in and a lot of down to lose.  Hopefully, the nestlings have all read that textbook and will wait until they are good and ready before attempting that first flight! 
It's great when the chicks wait to take that first flight when they are good and ready but sometimes fledge happens by accident when one gets knocked off the ledge by a nest mate or a gust of wind.  Putting their wings out and flying is instinct but how to steer and land and navigate with control must be learned by trial and error.  Therefore, it is normal for there to be rough landings and a chick might even end up on the ground. At any rate, law enforcement agencies and building security have emergency contact info for the Division of Wildlife if/when needed if a fledgling gets into trouble.
When the chicks leave the nest they are every bit as large as the adults.  Here's a photo showing the size is about the same between the adult on the left and the 2 chicks on the right: