We returned the fledglings to the nest late this afternoon. Mom flew back and forth several times as they were being released. The youngsters scurried to the the corner of the nest as soon as they were released from their carriers and within minutes were up on the railings flapping and calling. I left a bunch of food in the nest for them (dead mice and quail) so they should have plenty to tie them over until the parents bring in food. The nest is pretty disgusting--full of all kinds of junk including bits of rubber, foam and insulation. There is even a small mirror encased in plastic that they seem to have carried in.
The fledglings by the way are a boy and a girl. They are actually pretty close in size making it hard to tell gender over the camera, but their weight and foot size are diagnostic..so we have one of each.
We watched from the ground for awhile after the release. Mom remained in the area but did not enter the nest. It may take her a little while given the strange events that transpired this afternoon. However, she will eventually resume feeding.