The Last Ash-throated Flycatcher Leaves the Nest

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Ash-throated Flycatcher with Grasshopper

Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) photos by Larry Jordan

It had rained heavily most of the night so I wasn’t surprised to see a soaked Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) this morning. According to my nest box monitoring records, it was seventeen days after hatching and the nestlings should be ready to fledge (click on photos for full sized images).

Ash-throated Flycatcher with Grasshopper

It was shortly after sunrise (note the sunrise in the eye of the bird in the first image) and I have learned over the years that nestlings are usually urged to fledge in the morning. It gives the adults the most daylight hours to get the youngsters acquainted with the real world out there. So I thought I would try to document the momentous occasion.

It began with the adult birds bringing insects to the nestlings in the nest box. But they weren’t just delivering the food and going out to bring more. They were perching on nearby branches with tasty morsels of all kinds and calling to the little ones in the nest.

Ash-throated Flycatcher with Cricket

They would flutter in front of the entrance to the nest box and show the insect to the chicks and then perch nearby and call to them.

Ash-throated Flycatcher with Grub

The nestling rarely stuck its head out of the entrance but it was chirping almost continuously.

Ash-throated Flycatcher Nestling

Here’s a shot of mom stopping to check me out shortly after making a delivery.

Ash-throated Flycatcher at Nest Box

Now I know that there were three nestlings in this box (as well as an unhatched egg) because I took a photograph of them when they were seven days old.

Ash-throated Flycatcher Nestling at Seven Days Old

But as you will see in the video at the end of this post, this appears to be the last Ash-throated Flycatcher on my Bluebird Trail this year. The other two nestlings must have fledged earlier in the morning or the day before.

Ash-throated Flycatcher at Cavity Entrance

I’m glad I caught him or her leaving the nest and I hope to see all of them nearby being fed more grasshoppers by their parents as they learn to catch their own prey.

For more great bird photos from around the world you have to check out World Bird Wednesday!

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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Julie Brown

I really enjoy reading about daily observations like these. It makes bird-watching a bit more intimate and personal when you are able to see them develop. I have a fondness for flycatchers and your photos are bonus. Thanks for sharing this, Larry.

Pwolstenholme
Pwolstenholme

Brilliant stuff,what dreams are made of here in Ireland.

Pwolstenholme
Pwolstenholme

Brilliant stuff,what dreams are made of here in Ireland.