The brancher, came off the nest for a few hours today. The time off the nest included some time on the ground. It then returned to the nest in the mid-afternoon and took a nap!
I suspect the weekend will be full of fun activities. Please be careful around the fledglings. I saw many birders get too close to the fledgling. As calm as a fledgling may look, they're easily spooked. Once startled, they don't have enough experience or flying ability to go to a safe, high spot. They can easily end up in a bike path or road.
The general precautions include:
- Giving a new fledgling about 50-100 feet of space.
- If there is a group of hawk watchers, don't spread out and surround the bird.
- Don't block the "safe exits". If you do, you'll end up moving a bird towards a highway or the water.
- If someone asks you to move, don't be stubborn. Take their advice and if you think they were being overly careful, calmly discuss the issue once you're away from the bird.
- Error on the side of caution. The bird's welfare is more important than your view or photograph.
- If you are trying to take a picture with a standard point and shoot camera or a cell phone, you're too close.
I'm flying off to Paris tonight. I can't wait to come back next week and see how our youngsters are doing. Please feel free to email me your observations while I'm away.