Day 22: flight feathers growing!

June 4, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

This morning the peregrines started the day with fog and light rain, winds from east at 5MPH and temp at 52F.  The day ahead calls for showers before 2pm, then showers likely with areas of drizzle between 2pm and 3pm, then areas of drizzle with a chance of showers after 3pm. Patchy fog before 5pm. High near 52. Northeast wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 2.08.00 PMThe chicks are approximately 22 days old.  As we watch these chicks, the amount of black protruding along the edge of the wing indicates that the flight feathers continue to develop at a rapid rate, but it isn’t until the wing is spread that the state of development can be fully appreciated.  The web cam angle, from above, makes this view of the underwing a bit tough to observe.   The underwing view, when available, reveals that the primaries are barely emerging from their shafts, while the secondaries are already considerably more advanced. Here they are,  all three in active feeding mode again!

Overall, the developing young peregrines tend to live together amicably, and there are usually not any epic battles, which are so characteristic of some other raptors, notably Bald Eagles. Young peregrines are given to socialization with each other in the nest ledge, right up to and well past first flight.

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;