I can fly! (almost)

Now is the time of year when the chicks are trying out those great big wings.  Eventually, their wingspan will be about 6 1/2 feet.  That may sound like a lot, but consider the fact that the Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird, up to 11 1/2 feet.   The length of their wings may be one of the factors that determines when the chicks will fledge.  They generally start to fledge in late June, with the last ones leaving at the end of July or in early August.

Once they leave land, they will be depending on their strength to see them through life at sea, so while they are still on land they must practice using their wings to build up their flight muscles.  This chick was giving it his all yesterday.

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