Lawrence Peregrines: Day 10

May 23, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

The morning started off under mostly cloudy skies, winds from the SW at 6MPH and temp at 57F.  The day ahead calls for partly sunny skies, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 83. Southwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming northwest in the morning.  The sunshine will arrive later today and stay with us into the weekend.

2018.0523.2-001Just 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 moved to the perch outside the box for a while, and then hopped back inside the nest box.  She settled back in for a bit, spent more time on perch and then returned to hover over her brood!

2018.0523.1-001By 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;