RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Remember those little Scissor-tailed flycatchers whose heads barely peeked up over the nest a week ago, well…they have certainly grown a lot since then.
Now, it is getting so crowded in their nest in a blooming retama at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge that when mom arrives with a meal she can hardly gain a foothold.
When one of the rapidly maturing youngsters decides to engage in a little wing exercise, the siblings have to hunker down tight just to manage to stay in their nest.
It takes a mere two weeks for scissor-tailed flycatchers to fledge, and this foursome is well on their way to leaving the nest.
Both parents continue to feed regularly from sunup to sundown, and as soon as an adult lands four hungry mouths pop open. A tasty wasp appears to be on the menu this round, and no sooner is one meal swallowed then another arrives.
Finally, there is a brief lull in the action, but just as naptime begins mom arrives with yet another snack, and the hungry foursome becomes instantly alert, poised to swallow any available tidbit.
Since they are awake, one decides to try out his wings in preparation for that first flight that is rapidly approaching.
With four hungry mouths to feed, it doesn’t appear that there will be much time for a siesta, and that’s just fine with the youngsters as they are always ready for another meal.
I am sure when I next visit the flycatcher foursome the youngsters will have fledged, and they will soon be catching insects on their own.