Day 21: Resting on tarsi

June 3, 2018 in Near the Clock Tower

The peregrines started the day under partly cloudy skies, wind from NE at 9 MPH, and temp just over 60F.  The day ahead calls for sunny skies, with a high near 67. East wind around 11 mph.

2018.0603.2We’re now around the three week point for their growth and development. The first juvenile feathers begin to poke through the down on the breast.   The chicks continue to rest on their tarsi much of the time, rather than standing on their feet, but this balance shifts quickly in the days to follow.

2018.0603.1This is the time when wing and tail feathers begin to appear, and wing flapping becomes more vigorous.  The young are now voracious and eagerly watch the return of the parents to feed them. They are brooded little, but still have a marked tendency to huddle together, this being a warmth conserving adaptation.  Chicks at this age have well developed beaks and powerful feet, with quite large talons.

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;