Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Tawny Frogmouth chicks have fledged

(approx. 4min., 10 Mb)

The Tawny Frogmouth chicks which featured in the previous videos have now fledged. On the night of the 29th October, under a big fat full moon, they emerged from under the adult male who had been covering them all day. They quickly scrambled along the nest branch and seemed so, so pleased to be able to move around in the dark. There was lots of wing-stretching and flapping and eventually the eldest took a short 'first-flight' across to another branch. As the light dimmed, the magpies and currawongs finished their dusk chorus. Then all that could be heard was the hoarse coughing and wheezing that the chicks made as they jostled for position or begged for food whenever an adult flew in with a morsel of prey (still unidentified).

(approx. 2min., 5Mb)

By dawn, there was only one chick left at the nest and the male flew in to protect it as the sun cast the first pink beams onto the birds. The other two chicks were sitting on a branch below the camera, safe, next to the female. Frogmouths incubate their eggs as soon as the first one is laid, so the youngest one was about two days younger and less developed than the others. But it would be gone the next night. All the while the other local birds were chattering and whistling in their dawn chorus.

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