Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lots of Changes!

What a week and it is only Tuesday!  There sure have been a lot of changes in a short amount of time.  Many people were tuning in yesterday expecting to see chicks but instead we have a new male in the territory!
Here's Durand on the ledge earlier this morning as she took time to preen.  It appears as she is losing interest in the eggs as most of yesterday afternoon and so far today she has not been incubating.  It is still possible for there to be a hatch, but as the hours tick away it becomes less likely.  For now it is too early to make that determination.

One of the frustrations of dealing with peregrines is when there is no closure on an individual.  It's too bad that we may never know exactly what became of the previous male.  Perhaps he did succumb to an injury from hitting a window as was suspected.  If he did, he must have unfortunately done so in an area where the remains were not noticed or found, otherwise it's likely I would have gotten notified.  Without physical proof we can only speculate but I would add it is unlikely he would just leave the area on his own when he had been so active in the nesting process.  I wouldn't think it would be easy for a young male to have run him out of town or run him into the window but it's always possible.  The presence of the new male definitely indicates the previous male is no longer in the territory.

I have gotten many questions about whether Durand could raise chicks on her own if the eggs do hatch.  It has been documented in other cities of a single falcon successfully raising a brood, albeit difficult to do.  These birds do cache prey, so every meal is not necessarily freshly caught.  In some situations supplemental food is provided, in other situations the chicks are fostered into other nests.  Still other situations a new mate in the territory will step up and provide immediately.  I don't want to get into more detail on these scenarios as there's a good chance we won't be dealing with that here but I did want to mention them briefly as several folks have raised the question to me.

So again--for now--we watch and wait to see what becomes of the eggs and for a chance to read leg bands on the new male.  If Durand does abandon the eggs we will retrieve them and check to see if they were fertile.