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It’s a great time of year to watch a new generation of birds entering the outdoor world. And it’s fun watching the old generation teach the youngsters how to survive in the wild.

That was never more apparent than on a recent fishing trip. Young birds were in various stages of learning how to live.

Overhead, we watched four ospreys ride the wind currents above the reservoir’s shore – older birds handling the currents well and youngsters just a bit more uncertain in their flight.

We watched arctic terns diving for baitfish, then carrying them back to a nesting island where they fed them to young terns who were not yet fully feathered and able to fly.

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A flock of young sage grouse scurried across the road behind their mother on the drive to the reservoir. On a pond along the way, we saw a group of ducklings splashing in the shallows as they followed their mother slowly feeding along.

In the weeks ahead, all of these youngsters will have to learn the tools of survival quickly. They don’t have much time before they join the ranks of adult birds themselves. By the time fall arrives, and then winter, they’ll be on their own, making the most of what they’ve learned to survive on their own in the wild. – Mark Henckel, Gazette Outdoor Editor.

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