Thursday, May 07, 2009

1 Week Old

The nestlings are now one week old and have grown considerably. My goal at this stage of the nesting cycle is to try and post a similar photo each week to document the size of the chicks as they grow.

You'll notice the walls of the nestbox are beginning to get "decorated" with whitewash--falcon poo, that is. When they have "to go," the chicks project their feces up and out away from the nest to help keep the immediate nest area clean. During this process anything in the way gets coated. It's not so bad right now that they are still small, but as they grow they will inevitably hit the front of the camera housing and the resulting smears may obstruct our view.

I was asked earlier this week by a co-worker, how many feeding trips are made each day. I've never actually counted but would guess at least 6-8. I usually notice 2-3 during the first half of the day. Double that for the second half of the day and then figure in a couple more and there's the basis for my estimate. I'm sure some of the diehard watchers out there could say for certain!

The actual number of trips will vary depending on the size of the prey items the adults bring in. Since Orville is smaller, he likely concentrates on hunting smaller songbird-size prey while the larger Scout can take birds with more bulk to them. Oftentimes, the male will cache food as well, so if he isn't successful hunting he can always fall back on his reserve supply.

As the nestlings grow, so will their requirements for food! The adults will be very busy for the next several weeks with four chicks to feed.