Doug and I met Ann at her office late-afternoon to see the three Eyas before they fledge, as they're expected to leave the nest by the time I return to town next week. My initial reaction was one of awe as to how much they had grown since my last visit there only ten days ago!
We had hoped for more wing-ercising action from Miss Piggy, but for the most part she remained quite docile as she enjoyed the late-day sunshine perched on a branch:
Now let's talk about this big bulge you see below, known as a CROP. Most raptors have one, and I guess you could say it's a "holding tank" for food. In Miss Piggy's case, as she's always the agressive one when the food arrives from the parents, she hoovers it down and what she cannot eat at the moment is stored in her crop for later consumption (kinda like the guy you see at the King Eddie Brunch who's pocketing crescent rolls for later on- he wished he could do so with their Eggs Benny but they're far too messy). We speculated yesterday that this was why there wasn't much action from her, look at the size of the crop:
We did get some scratching action out of her, though, flying feathers and all, please visit Ann's Blog for the entire sequence. I love the look on her face, her eyes closed and beak open, as she tries to get some relief from her bothersome itch :
This was as good as it got for wing-spreading, but no practise jumps were seen, it seemed like we had missed their training sessions for the day as they all need to get ready for their first flight. Look how high she's standing up, too, nice dance moves!
As for the two younger siblings, they stayed in the background for the most part, they're considerably smaller than Miss Piggy. Here they are conspiring for a way to get their Big Sister out of the nest so they can begin to get their fair share of the parental food drops:
Here's one of them solo, notice the difference in size to Miss Piggy:
One final one of Miss Piggy for size, what a porker:
As we watched the Red-tailed Hawk's nest, there were also several Cedar Waxwings feeding in the trees around us, making their beautiful high-pitched whistling sounds. I absolutely adore these gorgeous birds, yet they're becoming my nemesis bird for a good photo, so I'll have to be content (for now, at least) with these shots below:
All in all it was an excellent visit to the nest, thanks to Ann and Doug (and the Eyas, of course!). With any luck perhaps the younger ones will still be on the nest next week for me to see again before they depart!
I encourage you to check out Ann's Blog for their full story, here's the link: