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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 20, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Out and about! Fairview crows fledged

Empty nest syndrome is settling in at The Seattle Times, where we are unplugging the crow cam this morning because both crow nestlings have successfully fledged.

This morning, one baby was across the street, begging up a storm in a tree. The other nestling was in the nest tree, but far enough from it to be out of view of the cam. Both were lively, hopping, squawking and raising a ruckus.

They will still come back to the nest to visit, but it’s no longer their hang out.

crow out of nest.JPG

One of the Fairview Crows Monday morning, visible in the photo on the upper right. Both crows have fledged and only visit the nest now.

Lynda Mapes photo

One of the babies was sleeping earlier Monday morning but on a nearby branch — not the nest — its beak tucked in one wing.

It woke up abruptly when a parent arrived, and opened wide for a nice big meal pushed down its beak.

Both parents were hard at work, with one parent feeding while the other was on security duty. A black shape sliced past my ear as I stood below the nest on the sidewalk. So fast and silent in its approach, I didn’t see the crow coming. Then the whu… whu.. WHU of its wing beats thrummed in my ear and it zoomed past my head.

I took the hint.

Right on time, the nestlings fledged in about three weeks. They’ll hang around with their parents for quite a while yet, begging for food, making a racket and generally acting like teenagers, big enough to look like they should be on their own, but not really ready.

Adieu, Fairview crows. May the french fries at Dick’s just up the hill strike your fancy. And, for the record, my bet that Monday was the The Big Day was on the money.

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