Two fledglings leave the nest
I had been watching this nest off and on for about a week. I decided I should check again after a couple of days out of town. The mother was feeding what looked like little, as yet unformed, babies.
But then this little guy popped up looking quite ready to fledge!
There was a great fluttering of wings and sure enough, out he climbed onto the nearby branch.
I had to go to an appointment and couldn’t wait around to see what would happen next but I was able to return about an hour later and now both of the chicks were sitting outside the nest and screaming for food. (Last summer I had watched parents bringing food to 3 chicks in their nest and the next day the nest was empty. I was super bummed and assumed they had been killed because they seemed way too immature to leave the nest; but now, seeing how little these guys appeared even on the day they left the nest, I hope that last year’s chicks also successfully fledged.)
Here they are in the branches getting fed by their parents. The first one out was clearly a bit more lively and aggressive and seemed to get more food but sometimes they brought food only for the smaller one down below. Cuteness alert!
Here’s a juicy morsel for the bigger chick.
Here are shots around the nest after they were out.
This was a bit strange. It looks like the chick below is gagging and then a white bubble appeared on its beak.
And finally a bunch of pictures of the two little guys. If you look closely, you can see them napping in a couple of the shots.