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This Weeks Creature Feature … Out of the Egg

Baby birds growing bigger

Nests throughout Chesapeake Country are full of baby birds. Fluffy young osprey are learning to tear their fish into bites in nests topping nearly every channel marker and many utility poles. Mom and Pop Osprey are still delivering the fish to their fast-growing babies.
    These youngsters have big things ahead of them, starting with learning to feed themselves. Their parents’ care ends sometime over the next two months. By September, the fledglings will be on their own, finding their way down the Chesapeake and across the Caribbean. If they survive their first migration — and no more than half do — they’ll hang out in Central or South America for two years before returning to our Bay.
    Zoo nests are full, too. In D.C.’s Smithsonian National Zoo, two burrowing owl chicks — members of America’s smallest owl species — are a month old and preparing to take their first short flights.
    Two kori bustard chicks hatched June 9 and 10 are being hand-fed a mash of pellets, crickets, peas, greens and fruit every two hours. For now, they’re safe — and out of sight — inside the Bird House. They’ll join their parents outside late in August, around the same time osprey chicks are on their own.