For several previous days, it was apparent that the young Kingfishers were getting ready to fly. Interestingly, they are pretty much fully developed when they fly, and while the parents still top them up with food, they appear to have some hunting ability for easy to find prey
#kneeetoo, and I arrived early one morning and waited for the usual food supply activity. After a bit of time had passed, it was obvious that something had changed. A further hunt around the nest area, and following the adults, we soon found, the first of the flown young. It’s plaintive cry for food was taken care of by both the adults, and just occasionally would one venture to the nest opening and deposit a top up snack, so, a second one was still nest bound.
The following day, it too had broken free from the nest and we found them moving about the forest with ease.
A tree had caught fire a few days before and the local fire and park people had cleaned up the mess, and cut down the old red-gum tree, as the fire had eaten through the inside. So there was a lot of downed timber as well as cleared spaces, and the young Kingfishers were taken there by the adults to sharpen their hunting skills.
It was a bonus for your photographers as the venerable old gum had supplied some fine landing spaces for the Kingfishers and some of the larger trunk pieces a good place to sit and watch the activity.
As the morning went on, the young became engrossed in being fed, and learning to feed themselves and completely ignored out presence, often landing only an arm’s reach or so away. Sometimes too close for the lens to gain focus.
In the end, a mid-morning rain brought closure for our efforts and the young took off to find some shelter.