The chicks that hatch out of the eggs in a bird’s nest are commonly known as nestlings. When these nestlings are old enough and actually leave the nest, they are termed fledglings. At the time of fledging these young birds are just learning to fly. They easily fly downwards but flying back to the safety of their original perch is another matter. At this stage they are vulnerable to predators. After all, they have still to learn of the dangers posed by the various predators.
The presence of fledglings is easily located by their constant begging cries to be fed. The parent birds are always close by and are paying close attention to them. The parents feed the fledglings less and less with time so as to encourage them to fly and hunt for themselves.
Susan Wong of Malaysia shares with us her images of two fledglings that she observed and photographed in mid-2007. The Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) is seen stretching its wings while still in the nest (left top). The juvenal feathers are all fully formed and the young bird was preparing for its maiden flight. It would also be stretching its legs and flapping its wings, especially when a strong breeze blows through
The Javan Frogmouth (Batrachostomus javensis) nestling is seen with its male parent in the nest, also stretching its wing (left bottom). Like the triller, it will be fledging in a short while, probably a day or so.
Susan is indeed privileaged to have seen these two birds at their nest, and just before they fledged.