Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2 Days Old!!

Things are progressing very well for the 2-day old chick.  As with human newborns, new hatchlings really don't have much to do other than eat, sleep and poop.  While it is possible another egg may still hatch, as more and more time goes by it looks like this chick might end up as an only nestling.  But, only time will tell and I'm not ready yet to say another hatch won't happen.

Durand is figuring out the feeding process as shown in this video from midday today.  It can be frustrating to watch...but the chick does get food finally!  Spark is doing a great job of providing food and earlier this morning I witnessed him stash a prey item right next to the ledge camera.  Caching is a habit of these birds so that when they aren't successful at a kill, they still have food available as a backup.

Now that different activities are going on in the nest it has a lot of people thinking and wondering--and worrying about some things.  I will attempt to touch on some of the issues folks have been mentioning:

Chick seems lethargic:  as stated above, there is not much for a new hatchling to do.  Sitting up and begging for food can be exhausting for this little critter so when it isn't feeding time chances are for the first week or so the only thing the nestling will be doing is lying around.
Chick and/or eggs falling out of the nestbox:    The nestbox actually sets down in a recessed area of the ledge--the lower part of the ledge is several inches below the actual ledge that connects to the edge of just air and space.  Although viewers can't see it very well, there is a platform immediately in front of the nestbox at the same level as the nestbox itself, so it is virtually impossible for eggs to roll--or the chick to fall--out of the box into danger.
Durand panting/sun:  it's a warm week in Columbus and with the nestbox facing south, the temperature in the box can get several degrees warmer than the ambient temperature especially on sunny days.  Therefore, the chick doesn't always need to be brooded tightly.  And, just like a dog, a falcon cools itself by panting.  When Durand is panting, she is actually keeping cool and all is well--she is not overheating.

Keep in mind this nestbox in this location has raised many fledglings over the past 2 decades.  The combination of southern exposure of the ledge, nestbox and gravel is the right combination to attract peregrines year after year resulting in many successful nesting attempts and fledgings.  I hope this information helps put viewers with questions and concerns at ease and we all can just sit back and enjoy the show!