Lawrence Peregrines: Day 11

May 15, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

The Peregrines started today with a forecast that calls for isolated showers before 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. Northwest wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Tonight, scattered showers, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%. 

2019.0515.2By day 11, the beak is already beginning to acquire a slightly yellow tinge, as opposed to the pink color it has had to this point in the chick’s development.  In regard to feeding behavior, hungry chicks solicit even if the adult arrives without food, but when satiated they remain indifferent. R. W. Nelson observed that chicks tend to form a semi-circle in front of the parent or to one side and all received portions of the prey item. Another researcher found that each chick was fed in turn until satiated, when it dropped back and was replaced by the next in line. After 10-12 days, chicks which called most received the most food

 

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; http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/info/ageguide.html

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; http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/info/ageguide.html

Lawrence Peregrines: chicks in a huddle!

May 13, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

2019.0513.3The forecast for today calls for a chance of rain, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Light northeast wind becoming east 8 to 13 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. For tonight, rain, mainly after 7pm, fog after midnight, low around 39F. Northeast wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. The nest box faces to the west, so the chicks will be out of the direct wind. The female will start taking more breaks like this, from active brooding.

Now let’s take a look at an overview of growth and development over the total 40 days.  Here’s a bit of what to expect:

At 5 days after hatch, their mass has doubled. The eyas can sit with relative ease, and the open eyes are more round.

At 6–8 days of age the second down (mesoptile or preplumulae) starts to emerge, first on humeral and alar tracts but no down visible on belly at 6 day, although on the legs and belly at 8 days. Also second down is well out on the wings and looks a bit blueish and sheaths of primaries breaking skin on wings.

By 10 days of age the second down is complete and uniform and outer rectrices are breaking skin. At 10 days, primaries growing at 2–3 mm/d, rectrix sheath not yet split.

At 14 days the second down is dense and long, rectrix sheath about 2 mm and typically ninth primary emerges from sheath.

By day 17 the contour feathers start to push out prepennae and only pale (buffy) tips of rectrices have emerged but growing at about 2 mm/d (since day 13).

By 10 days of age the second down is complete and uniform and outer rectrices are breaking skin. At 10 days, primaries growing at 2–3 mm/d, rectrix sheath not yet split.

At 14 days the second down is dense and long, rectrix sheath about 2 mm and typically ninth primary emerges from sheath.

By day 17 the contour feathers start to push out prepennae and only pale (buffy) tips of rectrices have emerged but growing at about 2 mm/d (since day 13).

At 20 days while still with heavy coat of second down, brown contour feathers are visible on margins of wings, tail, and faintly around the eyes.

By 30 days young appears about half down-covered and half feathered; while side of face well feathered, crown still covered with down.

At 35 days while mostly feathered, large conspicuous patches of down around legs, under wings, and on crown.

At 40 days almost fully feathered with traces of down on crown and under wings and outer several remiges; rectrices not fully grown but bird capable of weak flight.

Literature cited:

Veldhuis, Froona, Eyases growth and development                                                                                                                                                          http://falcoperegrinus-froona.blogspot.com/2008/04/eyases-growth-and-development.html

Unhatched “addled” egg remains?

May 12, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

Today started off under light winds, overcast skies and temp at 47F. How nice to see the little ones starting to move around a bit more.  They were first seen tightly huddled around each other and the remaining unhatched egg.  It almost looked like they were trying to incubate the egg themselves!

2019.0512.2The female was observed around 9:20 AM this morning taking a break, moving to front edge of nestbox, and calling for food!  The fourth egg has not hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely to hatch.  In prior years, the falcons have had unhatched eggs.  An unhatched egg, may also be referred at as an addled egg.  This is an egg in which the developing embryo has died. Not to be confused with a clear or infertile egg, though in common usage the term is often applied to any egg gone bad.

2019.0512.3Around 9:25AM, after a lot of vocalizing, the female was provided with another meal, by the male for the chicks.  The photo shows the female returning to the huddled chicks, with prey in her bill.  The bird in her bill has been stripped of feathers and is ready for her to rip apart for feeding purposes.  Also visible is the remaining unhatched egg. Addled eggs are usually left, and may survive after the young have gone as dried and bleached relics, kicked to the side of the nest box, but they are often broken and trampled to pieces!

Literature cited:

Ratcliffe, D. 1993. The Peregrine Falcon. 2nd ed. Carlton, England: T. and A. D. Poyser.

Lawrence Peregrines: 3 hatchlings feeding!

May 17, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

The morning started off with fair skies, calm wind, and temp at 55F.  The day ahead calls for patchy fog between 7am and 8am. Otherwise, cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Light and variable wind.

2018.0517.1-001The female was seen brooding the 3 chicks just after 6 AM this morning.  At 6:12 AM, she lifted up and walked over to the left edge of the nest box, and then hopped out onto the perch pole, for a quick bathroom break.  She hopped back into the nest box and settled back in over the chicks.  Just minutes later, she departed the nest box in flight and then returned with fresh prey…breakfast for the little ones.  The female feeds each of them with a gentle tenderness.  The fourth egg has not yet hatched, and, now, the time is growing late.

2018.0517.2-001From a growth and development perspective, the chicks are already starting to grow!   On Sunday, the adults began feeding the chicks shortly after they hatched.  At this age their eyes remain closed, but the chicks already have the instinct to crane their necks upward for food.  Over these very early days, the chicks eat and rest in a clump of whiteness.  They huddle close to one another while at rest.  They trip over each other while eating, and may even fall over if they lose their balance…..so very cute!

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn 2014 hatch year breeding adult male in RI

August 18, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

falcons2016-sakonnet2A wonderful report and documenting photos just in from Peter Green in Providence RI on one of the 2014 hatch year peregrine falcon chicks from Woburn, MA:

RI-DOT (Dept of Transportation) was recently inspecting the old Sakonnet River Bridge when they spotted the falcons and gave me the tip. They were able to read the “44” on the band and I got the “BD” so together we pieced together “44/BD” and I knew it must have been banded by Tom French because he uses green/black with the letters BD. There is already a new bridge up and being used, this old bridge will be torn down in 2017 and the falcons will need to relocate.

Peter Green is a very talented bird and wildlife photographer in Providence, RI with a keen interest in urban raptors. You are encouraged to check out his amazing work on his website http://www.providenceraptors.com and feel free to look at his impressive list of select exhibits and presentations!

Here is more info from Tom French:

falcons2016-sakonnet1“This is the latest I have ever heard for unfledged Peregrine chicks. These chicks appear to be about six weeks old, so they would have hatched around June 24, and the eggs would have been laid about May 22. I have never heard of Peregrines raising two broods in a single season, so I expect this was the result of re-nesting after losing the first clutch of eggs. From my experience, recycling takes about 2 weeks, so the first clutch would have been lost about May 8. I have had first clutches completed at least as late as April 19, so the clutch might have been about 2 ½ weeks old. If the clutch was much older when lost, I don’t think the female would re-lay. So, the dates potentially work for a lost first clutch, and a successful second.”

And finally, thanks to Tom French, here is the original banding information for Peregrine Falcon 44/BD:

Band numbers: 1156-19120, and 44/BD black over green
Banding date and location: 06-24-14, MA, Middlesex Co., Woburn, on a long-abandoned quarry wall, behind an industrial park.
Sex: Male
Siblings: Two, 1 male (45/BD), 1 female (75/BD).

Other reports after fledging: On October 5, 2014, he was identified on the beach at the south tip of Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol Co., MA by Mark Lynch of Worcester.
Your report: Nesting on the Sakonnet Bridge, 0.9 miles north of Tiverton, Newport Co., RI. Band number confirmed 08-05-16.

Lawrence Peregrines: chicks under web cam

May 11, 2016 in In the Nest Box

IMG_1815A barrage of incoming emails were received this morning in regard to the Lawrence Peregrine chicks in the nest box. Many individuals and student groups have been tracking the progress of the 4 chicks.  This morning, with winds out of the NW, the chicks had hunkered down against the north wall of the nest box, which is located just under the New Balance falcon cam. If they remain still, they are out of view of the falcon cam.  It was a pleasure to respond to all the emails and to provide assurance that all was well, and that the chicks are healthy and growing bigger and stronger each day with regular feedings by both adult parents. This year, the fourth and final egg was laid on Monday, March 28th. For Peregrine Falcons, they typically incubate the eggs around 29 – 33 days prior to hatching. The chicks were right on time again, this year. The 4 chicks are healthy and doing well. They will likely fledge in the first few days of June!  In this photo, the image shows the chicks being fed just under the falcon cam.