(noun) A young bird that has grown enough to acquire its initial flight feathers and is preparing to leave the nest. Young birds that have left the nest but do not yet have all their adult plumage and are still fed by the parent birds are also referred to as fledglings, while birds without any flight feathers who are still completely dependent on their parents are called nestlings.
Fledgling plumage is most visible on a bird’s wings and tail, where the flight feathers will appear much shorter than an adult’s feathers. Fledglings are capable of flying but are inexperienced and may seem reluctant to fly or may show difficulty with takeoffs, landings or distance flight. As the feathers continue to grow, the birds will gain more flying skill and their plumage will become indistinguishable from adult birds.