If you’ve been watching the Manton Bay webcam over the past few weeks, you’ll know that up until now the chicks have been moving around the nest by shuffling on the back of their legs; making them look decidedly ungainly. This isn’t helped by the fact their very large feet look out of proportion with their rest of their body! Slowly but surely, though, they are getting stronger. As today’s video shows they now have the strength to stand upright, and have started to walk around the nest on their feet. Its another sure sign that they are getting closer to their first flights – probably in around three weeks’ time.
They may be steadier on their feet, but the chicks’ flight feathers still have a lot of growing to do. If you watch the wing flaps in this video closely, you’ll see that the youngsters primary feathers are still ‘in-pin’ meaning they have a good deal of growing to do. It will probably be another two weeks before the feathers are fully-grown; and then it will be a case of building up the strength and necessary courage in order to make their maiden flights.
A few of you have also noticed today that there is a piece of barbed wire on the edge of the nest. This is nothing to worry about – 5R picked it up earlier mistaking it for a stick and it is now out of harms way on the edge of the nest. We’ll remove it when we go to ring the chicks in about a weeks’ time, but it shouldn’t cause any problems in the intervening period. You can just about make out the wire below right of the female in the photo below.