Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The count is up to THREE
Normal activity is for Scout to brood the young to help keep them warm. After extreme hot temperatures over the weekend (85+) we now are in the 50-60 degree range in Columbus. Combined with clouds and rain Scout will definitely be sitting tight on the remaining eggs and newly hatched young to keep them from being chilled. But no complaints! The cloud cover is welcomed during hatching to help us see what's going on. Were it sunny we'd be trying to see what's happening though harsh sun and dark shadow!
Initial attempts at feeding have not been successful. Scout has presented food, but not nearly close enough to the chicks for them to take it. This behavior was observed last year right after hatch also. There is no cause for alarm though, as the chicks are still getting nourishment from the remains of the yolk sac. I'm sure Scout will figure things out as we get another couple of days into this next phase.
Unfortunately, I will be in the field most of today and tomorrow and away from my computer. So the next blog update likely won't be until Friday. Hopefully, by then I'll be able to report 4 chicks!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
1st egg hatches!!!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Hatch expected this week
Given that, here are some signs to help tell when hatch is close. A day or so prior to hatching the chicks will begin vocalizing from inside the egg and pecking to work their way out. The adult birds can hear the chirping and feel the vibration and so their behavior will change. While throughout the majority of incubation they have set tight on the eggs (except for during the extreme warm temperatures over the weekend when the adults were moving the eggs and shading them to help keep them from overheating) the incubating adult will become very restless. It will get up and look down at the eggs more often, settle back down, and be up looking again within a short time. Unfortunately, at this time there is no sound with the nestbox video.
Eggs can hatch at any time of the day or night but we usually see the most hatching during daylight hours. The process will start with a pip--a small hole pecked through the shell from the inside by the chick using it's "egg tooth." It will take some time from pipping for the chick to actually come completely out of the shell. Don't be surprised if you see Scout eating the egg shells. This is one way for her to replenish calcium in her body that was lost from her system when she produced the eggs initially.
After hatching the chicks will need to be kept warm so Scout will brood the hatchlings. This may look similar to incubation but she will actually be sitting up higher and may hold her wings out from her body more than we see during incubation.
I'll be in the field a considerable amount of time this week and so may not be able to post updates as soon as they happen. However, I will update the blog as soon as I am able with photo highlights when possible.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Nearing the home stretch
In the meantime, here's another video clip I saved last week. Here, Scout is picking up and dropping stones while she sets on the eggs. This is an interesting behavior we've noticed over the years that the birds do at various times throughout the year. I'm not sure why they would go to the trouble to pick up a rock just to drop it and repeat the action again and again. One can only assume it is some type of behavior with no other purpose then to pass time.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Video clip of Orville
Seems like we've had a stretch of cool, wet weather in Columbus. As long as the birds are tight on the eggs, they will be kept at the proper temperature for development regardless of the air temperature. If you recall, last spring we had some unusually warm and sunny weather in which Scout didn't need to be on the eggs so tight - in fact, she stood over them to shade them at times. Check back through the blog updates from April, 2008, to compare. The forecast is calling for much warmer and sunny weather this weekend.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Weekly (sort of) update
Incubation is progressing normally and everything looks fine. In past years it seemed that Orville did a lot more of the incubation duty than was expected - this year it seems Scout is on the eggs the majority of the time. Regardless, the eggs are being kept warm and there is nothing unusual or notable to report.
Status of the nestbox still images: unfortunately, nothing new to report. They are still down into the foreseeable future.
Interesting blog stats to ponder: From the period March 20-April 12, 2009, there were 23,540 visits to the blog from 29 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S.A.! So, while YOU are watching the eggs being incubated, know too, that others are also watching from far-off places including: Australia, Malaysia, Italy, Romania, Norway, France, Spain, India, China, Poland and Kazakhstan! A LOT of people are interested in the Columbus, Ohio peregrine falcon nest! Thank you for your support!