Bird Words: fledge, fledgling
- Fledge: a bird is said to fledge when it is able to fly.
- Fledgling: a young bird that is partly or wholly covered in feathers. It is also used of a young bird when it first begins to fly.
Fledgling birds can be very easy to see because they are still learning to fly and will hang around more than more mature birds. However, they are sometimes not as easy to identify because their plumage has not fully developed the adult colours.
One big plus for identification is the feeding habits of the parents. If you remain quiet and still a short distance away, the parents will often come up to feed the new fledgling bird, making your identification much easier.
Except in the case of young cuckoos; that’s a whole new ball game.