Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Primus and Secundus Branch and Rose and Hawkeye's Brood Hop and Flap

The young Ms put on quite a show today.
And I've begun having a harder time telling one from the other. Currently I believe that Secundus is on the left and Primus the right. Here they are hanging out on the nest rim, one on each side surveying their parent's domain.

Something seems to have gone by and the kids are interested.

Then they lock eyes and it looks like it's going to be feisty time here at the nest.

Secundus leaps onto a branch.
And begins walking the branch.
Primus does some hopping and flapping on the nest.
And some more...

It's like battle of the birds. Not to be outdone Secundus does hop flap turnaround. Not bad.
He gives me a look.
And then starts flapping. Though I don't see any hopping out there on the end of the branch at the moment. He's got a good grip on his perch even though he's doing a long flap.
Ta da! Being higher the Primus is very enjoyable.

Did they switch places? One set of eyes isn't enough on these guys to catch it all.

Suddenly preening becomes imperative and they both succumb to the urge.

Still being watched I start up the car and head out, leaving them to practice their life skills.
Pat writes--

I took these Tuesday. Based on these pics, do you think they have already begun flying/jumping? I haven't seen them take off, just flap their wings.

Hi Pat,
It's a gradual process. In what we call hopping and flapping begins with some wing flaps and if there is room, sometimes they run while flapping. As their wings strengthen, they get a bit of lift. That seems to cue a push with the legs along with the flapping. It undoubtedly feels good, answers and urge, because they keep it up.
Look above at the level of brown feathering in Primus and Secundus. They are a bit older that those at the NYBG nest. (I can't say exactly how old Primus and Secundus are as their parents kept them hidden for some good time before I could confirm them being in the nest.)
The bird on the right is still mostly white headed so I'd say they are at the flapping stage with a little hopping. They don't really become airborne from this activity. If they do start becoming airborne, they'll usually find something to hold onto at this point. They aren't ready to go anywhere.

This guy is strengthening his wings. Yes, he's flapping on the edge but it would be bad if he inadvertently launched himself off the nest. He's not ready yet. (In fact most fledges I've seen in NYC have been inadvertent and not really ready as they then cannot gain elevation to return to the nest and there is seldom a way to branch back up to it. ) But at the stage the NYBG eyasses are, they have a lot of hopping and flapping to go to get stronger and stronger and hop and flap higher--in place. Then the wind may come up and blow them off or they just loose control of the hop flaps and launch themselves.
Thunder who fledged from the very tall KJRH TV tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma took much longer to come off than we'd find normal in NYC and according to report and the captures I've seen actually looked like she made a decision to fly off the tower. Previously she had an opportunity to "branch" on various parts of the tower. Her parents dropped off food in the manner they would to a fledged bird. They'd drop it off in the nest and leave. At which time Thunder would make her way to the nest and eat it. Then go back to another adventure "branching". Then finally, weeks late for what's considered a normal fledging date, she just took off of her own accord. And flew beautifully with control.
I'll be very interested to see the level of maturity of Primus and Secundus when they go. Birds like them in NYC would likely have about another week before they went but I've no idea how things work in a branchable tree. Also there are small trees and bushes under their Oak which may well give them the opportunity to climb flap back to the nest. In fact by the time I see one fly off they may well have done it any number of times and then gotten back into the nest.
It eventually became clear that in the Fordham nest of Rose and Hawkeye, the eyasses often fledged off into the trees which were only a few feet from the nest ledge, made their way through several trees to another building which was taller than the nest building, and after getting high enough on that building where they wouldn't have to make elevation on their own, flew back to the nest for meals. So one was never sure if when you saw a eyass go off the nest whether it was the first time they'd done it or whether it was the 15th time they'd done it.

And Hawkeye or Rose circle--just keeping an eye on their bit of the world.
Doengal Browne

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi Pat and Donegal,

Nice images and great commentary on the hawks at The New York Botanical Garden.

We've been keeping an eye on them daily, and they've been really active -- and viewable even without binoculars.

Could it be any day now?

Carol, NYBG