As the season ends at our summer retreat, the new generation will be preparing for their coming of age; their half-fledged flight. Other birds pander to their young’s unreadiness, but not us! We need to head South before the onset of winter and so the chicks have only half developed their wings and feathers. But they are perfectly capable of an unsteady glide from the cliff face to the sea below. Protocol is as follows; fathers head down to the sea where they wait, calling up, goading their young into taking the leap. “Come on you wimp.” “There’ll be no supper if you don’t grow up.” Mothers stay with the chicks and when they finally pluck up the courage to jump, will follow them closely, yelling words of derogatory encouragement. Sometimes a firm but motherly shove is required.
But do not have any concern! We are extremely hardy birds and also one of the bounciest.