Day 34: few remaining down feathers!

June 16, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

Saturday morning at 5:06 AM under clear skies, bright sun, wind, temp. The forecast for the day ahead calls for a picture perfect day with low humidity, mostly sunny skies, light NW winds up to 8MPH, and highs into the mid-80s. 

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 6.15.52 AMApproaching five weeks of age, the chicks are within a few days of being able to take flight for the first time, and the remaining down feathers are usually largely restricted to the lower back, lower legs, and crown. Just before 6AM this morning, the chicks were just hanging out, walking around, and looking out, with some intermittent wing flapping.  Minutes before 6AM, the female arrived for a feeding session with all gathered around!




2018.0616.2It is consistently the rule for male Peregrines, in common with most other raptors, to do the bulk of the hunting while the young are in the nest, as well as during the egg stage.  The contribution to the hunting by the female varies quite a bit, but is usually small, and she spends most of her time near the nest, ready to protect her little ones against predators. At about 3 weeks old the female may do more hunting, and the male amy bring food items directly to the chicks.

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;