Monday, April 29, 2013

One Down, Three to Go?

To quote an excited DNR co-worker this morning, "It's a boy!  It's a girl!  Who cares it's a falcon!"  That's the sentiment of many, having watched Durand incubate clutches the last two years with no hatch.  So, perhaps the 3rd time is a charm for Durand?!

As of this writing we are still at only one chick and that chick appears to be doing well.  Anxious fans have watched three attempts at feeding today (here's a video of the 2nd), with each time the chick getting nothing.  While this can be quite stressful for us to watch, keep in mind that the chick actually doesn't need to eat for the first day or so as it is still receiving nourishment from the yolk sac.  Instinct tells it to beg for food but it really doesn't need to eat at first.  As for why the adults aren't feeding - that is the learning curve for first time nesters.  This is both Durand and Spark's first time tending young so they need to learn how to get the food to the chick.  Sometimes it takes a few (or more) attempts for them to get the process down. 

Another question is what happens to the eggshells?  Usually, the female will consume the eggshells after the chick hatches.  This helps her to replenish calcium her body used to produce the shell initially.  And, it helps to keep the nest area tidy.  Stay tuned...we hope to see another chick soon!