Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nestbox Maintenance

The nestbox was spruced up today thanks to summer intern, Alexis Sakas. Dirty gravel was removed, the inside walls painted and fresh gravel put in. We also cleaned the camera lens. The new gravel put in was damp, so that is why it looks a little darker in this photo (especially in the rear of the box):Interestingly, neither of the two unhatched eggs were anywhere to be found so we won't be able to say for sure if they were infertile or if the embryos died during development (but my educated guess would be the eggs were infertile). So where did they go/what happened to the eggs? As the nestlings got larger and more mobile over time the eggs likely could have been broken by accident and then decomposed and/or even been consumed by the falcons. As usual, the nest box was a total mishmash of dusty, dried and smelly falcon feces and bits and pieces of prey remains including feet, feathers, wing fragments, etc. therefore egg shell fragments (if any were present) could have easily gone undetected as the mixture was scooped out.

Overall, maintenance was pretty uneventful. No peregrines made an appearance while we were working but then again as hot and muggy as it was it was best for them to sit tight where ever they were!