I can fly!

For some reason, lots of junco nestlings and young fledglings really believe they can fly.

Sorry, little guys. You are definitely wrong about this.

BBAR trying so hard!

BBAR can totally do this.

No?

No?

Why do I have these photos? Because we try to photograph every nestling and fledgling to get a sense of their age and development. The feathers in their tails, wings, and along the feather tracts on their bellies and backs all grow in quickly at this stage, giving you information about the age (or, if you know the age, the development for its age) of the bird.

So we try to photograph them from the front and the backā€”and they all try to fly away, and we get these photos.

AYME with her miniature junco tail

AYME with her miniature junco tail

Often you can still see the feather growth pretty well though. Notice the variation among these young birds in tail length and how many of their wing feathers are out of their sheaths. As the sheaths of the pinfeathers break away in small fragments they become debris that looks a lot like dandruff.

AMMR

AMMR: pinfeather dandruff.

AMMR again

AMMR’s tail is just breaking pins, while his wing feathers are about half out of their sheaths.

BBAE

BBAE

BBAE soaring

BBAE soaring

BBAE swooping

BBAE swooping

SYAN

SYAN

SYAN again

SYAN having second thoughts

2013_flying_UB

UB has almost enough feathers to do this

SAER

SAER

SAER is mad

SAER is mad

Most of RAYS' feathers are still in their sheaths

Most of RAYS’ feathers are still in their sheaths

All the better to fly with!! Except... not.

All the better to fly with!! Except… not.

LARS

LARS

Go go go!

Go go go!

KROA take-off

KROA take-off

BAGL looks like an Archeopteryx

BAGL looks like an Archeopteryx

GALK

GALK

GALK swerves

GALK swerves

GALK re-evaluates this plan

GALK re-evaluates this plan

LARR: another Archeopteryx

LARR: another Archeopteryx

YRAR: and a third.

YRAR: and a third.

YIRA

YIRA

YALL

YALL

YALL again

YALL again

ERSA

ERSA

ANNY

ANNY

SRSA

SRSA

SEGA

SEGA

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3 thoughts on “I can fly!

    • It is amazing! Especially when you think about how they start out as these tiny pink larval creatures, and then are flying something like 20 days later. Humans are such slackers in comparison.

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