I’m not sure I can still call these “minigulls.” They’re nearly fully feathered, now, and about three-quarters the size of adult birds. They can sustain flight (actual flight, as opposed to bouncing along with their feet on the ground) for several feet. In a few days, they’ll take to the air. I’m ridiculously proud of them. I mean, I know I’m not responsible for them, in any way, but…well, I did let their parents use my feeder, the whole time they were being incubated and fed. I wouldn’t feel entirely unjustified in catching them and putting “Sponsored by Socar Myles!” rings on their legs. (Not that I’d do such a thing, of course, but if I did…well, all right; that would be a bit pants. But I’m not going to, so don’t get all up in a wad.)
If I hadn’t checked up on them every day, during their development, I’d hardly believe these were the same birds that emerged, stubby and bare, from the eggs!
Flight training gets started at the crack of dawn, and proceeds till twilight. Up and down they toddle, flapping their wings. Every few tries, they catch a friendly breeze, and become briefly airborne. Then, they sleep a little, and practice some more. The sky is calling.