Tony Chua’s image of the Buffy Fish-owl chick (Ketupa ketupu) was photographed at the Rain Forest Boardwalk, Singapore Botanical Gardens. The chick, approximately 45 days old, is about to fledge. It has been exercising its wings ready for its first flight (below).
According to Tony, the juvenile has been carefully doing it’s catwalk. Two days ago it fell onto the boardwalk at the Rain Forest. Fortunately it managed to climb up a small tree.
Fledging is a major milestone in a bird’s life. The adults will stop feeding chicks due to fledge, to induce them to leave the nest. Not all first flights meet with success. Many first attempts end on the ground.
There are many cases of well-meaning people picking up such birds, “rescuing” them with the intention of caring for them at home. This is to be discouraged. You should pick up the fledgling and place it on high ground, away from stray cats and dogs. The adults are always somewhere nearby, ready to look after it. “Caring” for the fledgling inevitably ends in the death of the bird. You can feed the young bird until it is ready to fly, but who will teach it to recognise predators and more importantly, to avoid them? Also who will teach the juvenile to seek out food, etc. – see HERE.
20th Jan 2017