The baby made it back home last night without a hitch. He showed up around 6:30, about 2 hours earlier than the adult birds usually go to bed. Instead of going back to the nest, he perched in a compartment about four feet down from it. When we checked on them at bedtime, the mom bird was in the compartment with him, so he didn’t have to spend his first night out all alone.
The other baby never did fly yesterday, but he did venture out of the nest onto the ledge and sit there a while. At bedtime, he was back in the nest all by himself.
Then this morning I got up early, and to my surprise found that both of the babies were back in the nest. The one who flew yesterday and went to bed last night in a different compartment had somehow found his way back and there they were, the two little Cartmans just like before.
However, I guess he came back to convince his brother to go with him, because less than fifteen minutes later, Tom called down to me from upstairs that there was a baby bird up there on the balcony railing. I went to check the nest and sure enough, nobody was home.
At least this one didn’t hang upside down by his feet for ten minutes. I went upstairs to watch him for a while, and he flew again but almost immediately came back to the railing. He’s been up there every time we’ve checked, for the last couple of hours:
That’s okay. That’s what most of them have done in the past; the babies would fly to a close perch such as the balcony or the gutter and stay there for hours.
Mom and dad fly by occasionally, and they’ll land and sit by him for a little while, then fly off again. I’m sure by tomorrow, he’ll be out there dipping and diving with them.
Meanwhile, we’re suffering from the empty nest syndrome – but relieved to have them both past this milestone without any mishaps.