Until now our chicks have only had a couple of goals in life – to eat and to sleep – and as a by product of that, to grow.
But now another element is added on to the equation. Exercise! For the next 2 weeks they will be putting in the hours with a gruelling training programme, worthy of Olympic contenders.
Fledging is comparable to ski jumping, combining the elements of great height, fast descent and the real possibility of a fatal crash landing. But whereas a ski-er can build up from small to large jumps our chicks will have only one chance to get it right when they launch themselves for the first time into space. It is not just the glory of winning a gold but a question of survival.
So, between feeds and snoozes our chicks are now stretching, extending and flapping those unwieldy wing appendages that have developed so fast. Legs are also being strengthened with a regime of knees bend. If you’re feeling a bit unfit yourself feel free to join in. Before you know it, there may be a new Eddie the Eagle in the making!