Definition of fledge in English:



  • 1(of a young bird) develop wing feathers that are large enough for flight.

    • ‘Nestlings usually fledge before they can fly and continue to receive parental care for 18 to 20 days.’
    • ‘On this first day of summer, we are well into the season when baby birds fledge - a desperate time of survival for many young birds.’
    • ‘A total of 1072 eggs hatched, and 518 nestlings fledged successfully.’
    • ‘Young birds fledge after a length of time that varies widely between species, but is roughly similar to the length of the incubation period.’
    • ‘On July 11 the second brood of four nestlings fledged.’
    • ‘Eventually five young fledged and the next year, five more captive-reared birds were released.’
    • ‘‘When young birds are fledging, they need to learn to find natural foods,’ said the society's Winnie Burkett.’
    • ‘The female usually stays with the young until this point, but she may leave before the young have fledged.’
    • ‘We searched for records of what happens to young birds after they fledge, a stage where many studies cease.’
    • ‘Nestlings fledge three to eight weeks after hatching, and are dependent on the parents for supplemental food for several days to weeks after fledging.’
    • ‘Soon after the young have fledged, the red foots congregate and first departure flights commence.’
    • ‘Once they fledge, young birds wander long distances in random directions.’
    • ‘The spokesman said: ‘We are consulting to see if there's anything else we can do, but we've been advised it could be a month before the birds have hatched and fledged.’’
    • ‘We couldn't put the seats out until the birds had fledged.’
    • ‘Females generally lay four or five eggs; between zero and four young fledge.’
    • ‘Young birds fledge at 14 to 22 days and are partially dependent on adult birds for 23 to 28 days post-fledging.’
    • ‘Four to five days after the young fledge, they can make short flights, and within a week they are strong flyers.’
    • ‘In late December, chicks fledge, and adults leave the colonies to feed and molt.’
    • ‘Often only one nestling fledges from broods in this population of brown pelicans, so the critical fight may be over who is ranked first, rather than who avoids being ranked last.’
    • ‘The young chicks fledge or leave the nest in around 60 days and become fully independent in 14 more days.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Bring up (a young bird) until its wing feathers are developed enough for flight.
      • ‘Once back, they establish territories, make their nests, breed, and fledge their young.’
      • ‘One female initiated a second nest attempt 24 days after fledging young from her initial nest and successfully fledged a second brood.’
      • ‘It is possible that those birds renested >10 km from previous nests and eventually fledged young.’
      • ‘In Area 1, one chick was fledged successfully in four nest attempts.’
      • ‘This finding supports the prediction of Kuletz, who suggested that adults that deliver mostly low-lipid fishes are less likely to fledge a second chick.’
      • ‘Males were sampled on average 4 days after they had fledged their nestlings.’
      • ‘Conserving their habitat could involve preserving a patch of scrub or delaying the cutting of a swathe of hay for a few days until a bird has fledged its young.’
      • ‘All broods except one successfully fledged their young.’
      • ‘Hen flea infestations significantly reduced nestling body mass, tarsus and wing length, and the number of young fledged by the hosts.’
      • ‘Although we may have missed a few birds that lost their eggs early, it is unlikely that we missed birds that fledged chicks.’
      • ‘A successful nest fledged at least one young (fledging defined as leaving the nest).’
      • ‘If all goes right at the nest site, it takes eight months to fledge a chick.’
      • ‘During the years 2001 and 2002, from the 10 nests observed at the Savannas only one chick was successfully fledged and survived through its first year.’
      • ‘Those species like the pied kingfisher and the Seychelles warbler, which are able to fledge many more young when assisted, are also the same species that are mostly likely to recognize close relatives.’
      • ‘Breeding couples are generally able to successfully fledge a chick only once in nine years.’
      • ‘Furthermore, after recruitment larger females were more likely to successfully fledge offspring, providing a mechanism by which RSD is maintained in the population.’
  • 2[with object] Provide (an arrow) with feathers.


Mid 16th century: from the obsolete adjective fledge ready to fly, from Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vlug quick, agile also to fly.