UPDATE: Go have a look at the Hawkcam now and you might see the second chick take its first flight—live! It’s standing on a beam looking as if it might take off.
I’ve been really remiss in keeping people updated on the red-tailed hawks at Cornell University’s live hawkcam. While I’ve been busy berating theologians, the baby hawks have grown up, and readers have been keeping me up to date. Anyway, one of the chicks fledged today, and here’s a video of its very first flight (thanks to reader ivy privy for the info).
The bird looks so tentative, but then resolutely takes the plunge off the tower. One wonders what goes through the mind of an animal whose genes are telling it to fly but whose brain hasn’t experienced flight. Was it scared? It seems to have done okay, as the end of the video shows.
Still, the fledging appears to have not acclimated fully to flight, as these posts from the website show:
CornellHawks— After perhaps ten minutes on the ground, the young hawk gathered its nerve and flew, screeching, across the street and into a small oak
CornellHawks — where it landed upside-down and dangled for a minute. It was a tense moment, but eventually the fledgling righted itself.
CornellHawks 17-57 Ezra delivers another chipmunk