This morning, as predicted, the second chick took his inaugural flight and acquired a name.
Billy — as in Billy Bishop, the Canadian First World War fighter pilot — first made a short hop from the nest ledge to the next ledge over, where Amelia joined him. She now lands solidly on whichever ledge she’s aiming for, and even knocked each of her parents from their perches in a futile search for food.
After much flapping and running back and forth, Billy took off again, and this time Dominique and I saw him head for the southwest corner of the roof. He missed his landing, dropped, caught the air currents again and flew low towards the trees west of the building.
Amelia, showing some helpful sibling instincts, flew after him and guided him to the lowest part of the Annex roof, where he stayed for the rest of the morning. Amelia didn’t venture far, and the adults watched over them from above, Ivanhoe perched on the big Canada sign, Rowena on one of the lights above the sign.
Once the chicks settled down, Rowena took off for points west and returned soon with a dead pigeon, which she plucked clean on a high ledge before bringing it down closer to Billy.
Billy was having a hard time scaling the high sides of his ledge on the Annex, so Amelia eventually joined him for a nap, then tried coaching him. She flew back and forth between the Annex and the lower ledges of the main building, seemingly encouraging him to follow. He wasn’t brave enough for another big flight, but he did eventually join her on the main roof of the Annex.