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Class of 2014 – Flight into the Future

From our Hog Island Audubon Partners – the chicks will soon fledge!
The three Hog Island osprey chicks stand at the edge of the nest, flap their wings, and peer into the distance.  Now that Poole, Pan, and Pia are approaching 7 weeks of age they prepare for the next phase in their lives by exercising those feathered wings and readying to take their first flight.  We can expect this leap by the end of July.
Since the chicks emerged from their eggs a few months ago they’ve been completely reliant on their parents for food, warmth, and protection. Along they way they’ve grown larger and developed the wing feathers that will allow them to soar.Practice makes perfect and after the young take their initial flight they’ll continue to remain in the nest for the following weeks while honing their aerial techniques. They’ll begin to exhibit transitional behavior, these once-helpless chicks becoming independent juveniles. For instance, though Rachel and Steve currently hunt for their young’s fish and feed the chicks from their own beaks, the three P’s will soon be ripping apart the catch to feed themselves.  Then, about 2 weeks later, the young fledglings will catch their very own prey.

Armed with the skills of flight and fishing, by the end of August the three juveniles will take to the skies, migrating south towards the equator, now fully self-reliant.
Keep watching the Osprey Live Cam for the big leap!