The hand-raised chicks now have temporary names: Bismarck and Caledonia. Not the most original (I leave that for the permanent owners) but the names represent two species of crow and made more sense than other options such as “Fish” or “Jungle.

They are slowing moving out of the “eat and sleep” stage into thinking about exploring the world. They can climb out of their plastic nest and scoot around the cage. In order to make sure that they get adequate vitamin D, we’ve started spending time outside. They are very unsure of the wisdom of this activity. Caledonia’s solution is to hunker down in the ground and pretend she is not there. Bismarck waddles around, figuring that he’s safer as a moving target (at least from predators who are daunted by a critter moving a foot per minute).

The photo of Bismarck gives a good sense of how the pin feathers grow into straw-like sheaths and then the feathers emerge and spread out from the casing. He’s farther along in flying prep than Caledonia, which involves wing flapping as well as stretching.

They are true crows in that they have continue to refine their food preferences, opting for anything that is 1) expensive and 2) hard to get. Forget dog food: they both now spit out such plebeian fare immediately, even if it is dipped in chicken dinner baby food. They are slightly more tolerant of blueberries, similarly disguised. Pinkies are a perennial favorite, roast chicken is acceptable, and frozen rabbit is tolerable. I am not going to feed them any table scraps for fear they will develop a taste for steak and gruyere cheese like their mother.

The batteries on the nest cam ran down again. I’ve charged them back up and hope to replace the camera today to get a peek at the third sibling. Update to follow.