Day 20: flight feathers grow!

June 2, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

This morning starts off with fair skies, calm wind conditions, and the temp already at 73F.  The forecast calls for a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 1pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. Light and variable wind becoming north 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

2018.0602.1-001Around 5:45 AM, the female checked into the nest box, walked around a bit, and the chicks thought food might be part of her visit.  After a few moments, the female departed and the chicks went back into loafing mode.  The nest box is littered with more feather debris than before, while the unhatched egg survives through all of the activity! At 6:08 AM, the female returns to the nest box with prey in her talons.


2018.0602.2-001They prey has been prepared outside the box and another feeding session is at hand.  At first, only the chick in the lower left hand corner engages in feeding while the other two watch from the upper left corner.  Then the second chick joins in and both are fed, and finally the third chick joins in too!  At 6:19 AM, the female grabs the remaining uneaten prey and departs.

Around day 20, some yellow/beige becomes visible in the patch behind the eye, and a distinct dark edge to the wings becomes visible as the flight feathers continue to grow in length beneath the layer of down.  The dark eye patch is becoming larger.

Literature cited:

Ratcliffe, D. 1993. The Peregrine Falcon. 2nd ed. Carlton, England: T. and A. D. Poyser.

The Canadian Peregrine Foundation, Peregrine Falcon Development – Age Guide;