Big takeout lunch!

May 29, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0529-001Around noon today, observed the female deliver a big takeout lunch to the ravenous chicks!

The feeding frenzy continues!

May 28, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0528-001Around day 16, dark spots can be seen along the edges of the wings, indicating the growth of flight feathers underneath the covering of down.  The down on the head also begins to take on a rougher texture around the stage of growth!

Day 16 and growing!

May 27, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0527-001Just before 6AM, the Falcon Cam showed the chicks huddled in the corner with the female perched outside the nest box, keeping a close on her brood.  Around Day 15 the chicks are beginning to enter the hunchback phase, during which they are often seen in a hunchback pose, with their feet splayed out in front and head angled forward.

4 Chicks: where did they go?

May 26, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0526-001A year ago, a frantic email came in, with a desperate question from a teacher with a group of students, on what happened to the peregrine falcon chicks?  From time to time, they huddle just under the camera and just out of sight.

At first look, a regular viewer might think they  jumped from the box, or something else.

No worries, just momentarily out of sight!

Moments later the female showed up with yet another fresh catch for breakfast!

Falcon Cam provides terrific views!

May 25, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0525-001As the peregrine falcon chicks approach two weeks of age, the chicks are beginning to sit upright more often, but still lean on each other, or against the nest box much of the time.  The very beginnings of wing feather development are also seen around this time!

Another morning feeding!

May 24, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.05.24-001The chicks are now approaching two weeks of age and growing bigger each day with nonstop appetites and feedings!

4 chicks eating and growing quickly!

May 23, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0523-001A mid morning visit to nest box by female with prey in hand….she is ripping apart freshly caught prey and feeding to ever hungry chicks!

By day 11, the beak is already beginning to acquire a slightly yellow tinge, as opposed to the pink color it has had to this point in the chick’s development.

4 chicks in a huddle!

May 21, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0521-001The group on average is now about 9 days old and going strong!  This is a late afternoon photo with late day light streaming into the nest box.  The female is watching over her brood and they remain in a tight huddle formation!

The chicks have grown visibly over last 9 days but remained covered in white down with pink patches of skin still showing through in some areas.

Chicks a week old!

May 20, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0520-001At one week of age, the chicks have already grown considerably relative to the size of the eggs they emerged from.  They are covered with fine white down, and in some places the pink skin still shows through. 

The nestlings are now one week old and have grown considerably.  You’ll notice the nestbox are beginning to get “decorated” with whitewash–falcon poo, that is. When they have “to go,” the chicks project their feces up and out away from the gravel lined nest to help keep the immediate nest area clean. During this process anything in the way gets coated. It’s not so bad right now that they are still small, but as they grow they will inevitably make a mess in the nest box.

Many have  asked how many feeding trips are made each day. We’ve never actually counted but would guess at least 6-8. I usually notice 2-3 during the first half of the day. Double that for the second half of the day and then figure in a couple more and there’s the basis for my estimate. I’m sure some of the diehard watchers out there could say for certain!

The actual number of trips will vary depending on the size of the prey items the adults bring in. Since the male is smaller, he likely concentrates on hunting smaller songbird-size prey while the larger female can take birds with more bulk to them. Oftentimes, the male will cache food as well, so if he isn’t successful hunting he can always fall back on his reserve supply.

As the nestlings grow, so will their requirements for food! The adults will be very busy for the next several weeks with four chicks to feed.

Evening feeding time for hungry chicks

May 19, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0519-002The chicks are growing in size with boundless appetites!  They are now more erect at feeding time and ready to gobble each meal brought in by the female.  This is an evening feeding, about 90 minutes before sunset and now we can see their wings, used to help with balance, while they feed.