Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fledging Clark's Nutcrackers

May 25  on to the summit

We are awakened by the raucous calls of a juvenile Clark's Nutcracker with lots of wings fluttering and jostling in the nest we discovered just 50 feet from our campsite.  We are trying to figure out what is going on, when suddenly, with much inefficiency, one bird almost falls out of the nest, then flutters a few times and manages to latch on to an adjacent tree's branch.  Yelling and squeaking, it is now obvious to us this bird has never been away from his home limb before.  A second bird calls from the nest and shortly thereafter drops with a few meek flutters to the forest floor.  Now siblings call to one another, one stuck fearful on a strange limb above, the other hopping around on the ground trying to get his or her wings to operate like they imagined they should.  The pair continue this dance for an hour as we prepare breakfast and break camp. Now the parent birds fly a few loops over the pair compelling them to become airborne, and scan for threats to their vulnerable family.  A Steller's Jay forages a bit too close to the ground hopping juvenile and earns a scolding and low fly over from parent Clark. That appears to be enough of a warning and the Jay moves on.

Brief Movie of the action...

Fledgling Clark Nutcrackers on first foray out of the nest...

No comments: