Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wing Stretch

_DSC6998 nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

The Osprey chicks did a lot of flapping prior to flying. This photo was taken in the first few days of August, just a week before flight. There was about two prior weeks of vigorous flapping, followed by hopping and flapping. Quite uncoordinated at first and funny to watch. Actual brief flying took place during windy conditions- especially as a thunderstorm approached. They would nose into the wind and flap with the aid of the wind to lift off, rise straight up a couple of feet, land and repeat. Natures wind tunnel. A week afterwards, they graduated to flying to the nearest electric pole less than a hundred yards away. Each day they would go a little further down the line of poles. After a week of these short flights they began to venture further afield. The parents are still bringing fish back to the nest for them to eat- they are never late for dinner. Now they are gone from the nest for a few hours at a time, presumably to the river. Judging from the rapid pace of development I guess they will be learning to fish for themselves soon.

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