Lawrence Peregrines: Day 10

May 14, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

The forecast today calls for showers likely with patchy drizzle before 10am, then patchy drizzle with a chance of showers between 10am and 1pm, then a chance of showers after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 44. Northeast wind around 9 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Tonight, a chance of showers, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 38. North wind 5 to 7 mph. Again, the chicks are out of direct wind!

2019.LP.0515.1Just before 6 AM, the female was seen in the nest box preening, wind stretching, and watching over the little ones.  She departed and returned moments later, again with food in her talons. The hungry chicks were happy to receive a morning meal.  The egg has been moved back into the huddle!  After the feeding session, the female now may move to the perch outside the box for a while, and then hop back inside the nest box.

By day 10, the chicks have already grown visibly, but remain covered in white down with pink patches of skin still showing through in some areas. Around this time, the young peregrines grow a second coat of down. From this age onwards, nestlings become more active and strong though the nature of their movements does not change markedly for another week or so. They are brooded less and less during the day and become more vigorous in their movements about the nest box, including backing up to squirt their feces outside the nest box. Vision develops strongly and the young, when hungry, scream and clamber towards an arrived parent. Most of the day is spent sleeping, up to about 16 days, but the comfort movements, become more developed, and include foot nibbling and hitching of the wings into adult position.

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;