I was at ground level with him at this moment, so I moved to a different position to reduce stress. I also wanted him to feed that baby. So I retreated up an embankment. With more distance and a tree between us, my new position caused no concern and the meal he brought was quietly delivered in small pieces.
One final, lingering look before departure.
The male awoke the nestling with greeting chirps as he approached, but not a sound was made by either the parent or the nestling during feeding. In fact, the whole time I observed the nestling, he never made a sound. He watched the world around him and listened. Secretive silence, camouflage and stillness are the only protections for this nestling, too soon out of the nest. Somehow, he seems to know that.After his meal, the nestling had more energy. A blue jay had been overhead earlier, tapping something against a limb as if attempting to break it. I wondered if he had a snail. I both feared the nestling would attract attention by moving and wished for a better hiding place for him. And my wish happened. When he took a notion, he toddled and stumbled with determination to a new location with Pop delivering encouraging chirps the whole way.
In the images above you can clearly see his blood feathers with blue sheaths supplying the blood to newly developing wing feathers. I don't know how long it takes these feathers to mature, but hopefully in only a few days. These are the flight feathers he needs to fledge.
The nestling headed into a dense bamboo stand, definitely a better spot than under the hemlock where the jays hang out periodically.
I decided to end my observations here. But just outside my window, I'm continuing to send this nestling wishes for a safe and speedy fledging.