Sunday, 28 December 2014

Second chick leaves the nest

Got it wrong about both the babies leaving the nest together.  A very lonely and very hungry fig parrot chick was hiding in the nest hollow all of yesterday.  In the early morning I could hear timid calls.  The parents did not seem to want to go near it, rather coming and going every few minutes, flying circuits and landing in the canopies of nearby trees and all the while issuing lots of urgent ‘lets go’ calls.  An hour later this was still going on and the chick was looking quite distressed as though it was not capable of leaving the hollow and was now being abandoned to starve.  It is likely that the chick had not been fed for at least a day to help motivated it to leave the nest and perhaps to make sure that the chick was as light as possible for its maiden flight.  Things were starting to look hopeless as the chick lacked the confidence to leave and the parents would not feed the chick or even go close to it.
double-eyed fig parrot
Older sibling? and parent calling to the chick which is in the nest hollow behind the leaves.  Birds are out of focus.
Finally the parents managed to psyche the chick up.  They issued a call and the chick called back then issued another call and the chick responded.  Gradually they upped the tempo until the chick was calling for all it was worth but it still didn’t jump.   In a final desperate measure, the parents and chick that flew yesterday came down and alighted on a branch just in front of the nest hollow and the psyched up chick finally came out.  With a great rush, they all flew over to the dense and welcoming foliage of the weeping fig in a park across the street.

Can you see the chick?
In the fig, the chick made sure that the parents knew all about how hungry it was with the loudest begging from a fig parrot that I have ever heard.

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