Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Family Life

Once the chicks reach almost adult size, the parents will give them more space while still keeping an eye on them. They will take to perching on a limb that is within the line of sight of the nest. In the case of the nest I watch on the Patuxent River, they retire to a favorite limb on a nearby sycamore tree. The female has recently been in the water and is drying her wings while the male has his eye on the water below looking for a fish.

The male spots a fish and, with encouragement from the female, dives down to try and catch it.

This chick is not easily distinguished from an adult — at least, not by it's size. When they reach this size, the parents will allow them to sleep in the nestbox by themselves. I was able to take this photo of outstretched wings just as the sun was cresting the horizon.

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