Henry Koh a.k.a. HK2000 documented an adult Red-legged Crake (Rallina fasciata) teaching its chick to forage. The adult bird is seen picking up a grub and feeding it to the chick. This is a common sight with recently fledged chicks.
Nesting chicks are fed by the two parents who regularly bring them food. When the chicks fledge, this feeding continues. After all, the fledglings need to be taught how to forage. And it takes two weeks or so before the fledglings become independent.
The fledglings need to learn how to fly, how to recognise food, how to avoid predators and a host of other survival lessons. Thus for the next week or two, depending on the species, the adults take great care of the fledglings, feeding them and encouraging them to fly longer and longer distances. The chicks will constantly beg for food and the adults use food to encourage them to fly longer and longer distances.
Without the adults to teach the fledglings these survival tactics, they will invariably become food for predators. This is one reason why the public should never take a chick displaced from its nest home and look after it – see HERE. Invariable the displaced chick, once released into the wild, will become food for predators.
This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.