This is an exciting day for bird enthusiasts who have been watching a great blue heron family being raised outside of Ithaca, N.Y., via webcam. But it's an extraordinary day for three heron chicks that enjoyed first flights while thousands of human admirers watched via live feed.
The webcam was set up by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, outside its Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, in Sapsucker Woods.
The accompanying video shows the first fledge, which occurs 39 seconds into the clip. Be sure to note the expressions of two siblings who stood and took notice.
Two other heron chicks then followed suit, leaping from a branch extending from a nest that sits atop a dead oak tree in the middle of the woods.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, the remaining two siblings had yet to fledge.