Peregine chicks in the heat!

May 30, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

Summer has arrived for all of us including nestling birds getting ready to fledge!  Time to get ready for some good ol fashioned summertime heat & humidity.  This was our first time in the low 90s in the Lawrence area since the end of last August and this heat is gonna stick for a few days.  In fact, we’ll see afternoon temps near 90 for the next 4 afternoons.  All this heat & humidity will be a tesr for our nestling friends.   

Quite a delight to be able to observe and photo document the new batch of peregrine nestlings as they prepare for first flight.  Did you know that falcon chicks are called “eyases”?  An eyas is a an unfledged bird; specifically : a nestling hawk.  The four peregrine eyases have adjusted quite successfully to their new home on a rooftop after recently being moved by MassWildlife staff.

Today provided nice lighting conditions with nice views (from a distance with a scope, binoculars, and a very long camera lens….all from private property) of the nestlings.  Only able to see three of the four along with terrific views of both parents on separate nearby perches.  These photos are well worth a look!

11 Photos of chicks and adults posted:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames….enjoy!!



Bald Eagle chick feeling the heat!

May 30, 2013 in Bald Eagle

Young eaglets grow rapidly and may eat up to two pounds of fish per days!   Eaglets are fed a steady diet of fish, occasionally supplemented by water fowl (ducks, geese) or water birds (gulls, cormorants).  About 85% of a chick’s diet will typically consist of fish such as carp, white sucker, shad, bullhead and sunfish.  The adults capture and tear the fish into small strips, offering them to the chicks. The chicks snatch the food from the adult’s beak and swallow it whole. An eagle chick will eat as much as it can at a single feeding, storing food in its crop. The crop, an organ located near the base of the bird’s neck, will enlarge as it fills, resembling a golf ball.  About ten weeks after hatching they begin to make short flights from the nest spending much time with the parent birds observing the adults as they find, cathc, and eat food.

4 photos posted from today:   Click “next” in upper right corner to advance frames…..enjoy!

American Kestrel pair near Duck Bridge

May 29, 2013 in American Kestrel

The Kestrel pair were observed late this afternoon in a tree on the north side of the duck Bridge in Lawrence.  It was dark with overcast skies but enough light to allow the male to show off his colorful outerwear!!  This location is right along the Merrimack River and near numerous prior sightings.  Further observations will be required to determine the nest location.  They have been seen a few times over the last week and this suggests that they may have finalized their nest location.  Stay tuned

Peregrine Falcon chicks looking around 40 days old!

May 29, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

Had a nice opportunity to observe the chicks from a distance under late afternoon overcast skies.  They are playful and flapping thier wings in anticipation of fledging soon.  According to Birds of North America, at 35 days, while mostly feathered, large conspicuous patches of down around legs, under wings, and on crown. At 40 days, almost fully feathered with traces of down on crown and under wings and outer several remiges; rectrices not fully grown but bird capable of weak flight.  With this in mind, these chicks looks close to the 40 day mark and weak flight along the rooftop happens nest!

Bald Eagle chick standing tall and ready to fledge?

May 22, 2013 in Bald Eagle

According to Birds of North America: for several weeks prior to first flight from nest (fledging), nestlings flap wings across nest and to adjacent limbs to practice flight, developing muscle strength, flight coordination, and (importantly) landing ability. Up to half of nest departures unsuccessful; such young may remain on ground for weeks before regaining flight ability; in most cases, parents will continue to feed these young.

3 photos posted:    Click “next” in upper right corner to advance frames….enjoy!

Red-tailed hawk chicks continue to grow…..

May 22, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

According to Birds of North America, developmental asynchrony among chicks (runting) and sibling aggression may occur when food is scarce.  At a nest  where food delivery was low and one chick was dominant to its nestmate, the female parent preferentially fed the dominant chick and frequently pecked the subordinate. There was violent sibling aggression in this nest, and the subordinate chick did not survive to fledging.  Young are generally fed the same foods as adults eat.  Early in the nestling period, adults typically remove unused prey from the nest within a day of deposition. In contrast, old carcasses may be allowed to accumulate in the nest late in the nestling period.

Merlin….threat to peregrine chicks?

May 21, 2013 in Nearby Landbirds

What are the significant threats that peregrine chicks face in the first year of life…..Great-horned owls!  For falcons in their first year when mortality is roughly 50%, primary threats include large windows, utility lines, owl predation, and starvation.

Peregrine female on constant lookout

May 21, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The female is on constant lookout over the new nestbox location.  The nest box is located on a high out of view rooftop.  The perch locations are changing with the new location and time will be needed to determine the mpost grequent and regular new perch locations.  The Peregrines know that the chicks are always at risk to any one of a number of predators and hence a constant vigil is required to maintain safety.  Note V/5 leg bands on left leg!

5 photos under overcast skies posted:    Click “next” in upper right to advance frames….enjoy!

Peregrines settling into new nest location

May 20, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The Peregrines are settling very nicely into the new nest box location on a nearby rooftop with a range of excellent nearby perch locations that afford terrific 360 degree views….all seems well for chicks to grow and get stronger!

Red-tailed Hawk chicks….now 3!

May 20, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed hawk chicks now number 3!  two are larger in body mass than the third smaller one, so time will tell if the third chick is strong enough to make it in the fight for food.  According to Birds of North America the male provides most of the food for the female and their brood from hatching, although female may occasionally vacate the nest for brief hunts.  For the first 4–5 wk after hatching, prey is torn into small pieces for nestlings by the female; thereafter prey is deposited in the nest for nestlings to tear and eat.  Generally, prey are delivered to nestlings 10–15 times/d from just before sunrise to just after sunset.  Delivery rate and prey biomass vary among individual birds and are affected by brood size and prey availability.

5 photos posted including adult female watching and guarding from a nearby roof top:   Click “next”