March 2015: Chick on their own (page 1 of 2)
1. After 60+ days on the egg and several weeks covering the newly hatched chick, both parents have left the nest to find food for their growing young. This is a strange time since it seems the chicks have been abandoned, but this is a natural step in their development.
2. This is “Fern” at three weeks old. She looks lonely in her nest deep in the hedge on her first day without a parent.
3. Several days later, mom returned to feed and nurture her for a few hours, before she left to start the next search for food.
4. In another hedge “Weber” has tripled in size in his first four weeks. He is also alone, waiting for one of the parents to return.
5. We had a third next nearby which turned out infertile. Being good parents, the mates continued to incubate the egg for 4 weeks past its due date. Shortly after this photo, they left the egg for the last time.
6. Besides Fern and Weber, there are 10 other chicks in the immediate neighborhood. Some are more visible from the street, so signs are placed nearby to warn watchers to not get to close. The chick is in the flower bed to the right.