Thursday, April 10, 2014

Birds Eye View

Things at the nest site are progressing nicely!  Incubation was estimated to have begun after the 3rd egg was laid on March 24th. Both adults have been doing a great job with the incubation duties. As Donna mentioned in an earlier blog entry, hatch is expected the 4th week of April.
Now is the period of time when we sit back and wait...wait...wait. The calm before the storm if you will. Once the young hatch the nest box will become a very busy place.
While we are waiting this is a great time to offer a review on identifying which falcon is sitting on the eggs.  Remember in the raptor world, males are smaller than the females.  Below is a side by side comparison of the male (Spark) and female (Durand) as they are incubating.  In these photos you can see how much more body mass the female has than the male.  The only other visual field mark that we have found to help tell Durand and Spark apart is a white area above Durand's beak that Spark does not have. (This only helps when the bird is facing the camera.)
By way of the nest box cam, we are always looking into the nest observing the falcons activity. The above pictures are examples of what we see during the months' time of incubation.  Do you ever wonder what the incubation of eggs must be like for a peregrine?  They sit in the same spot and look at the same things for at least 33 days. What is their view during this period?
We thought it would be fun last winter to take a picture from inside the nest box looking out. While we were working at the nest site during the off season we did just that.
We placed a camera in the nest box approximately where the scrape was and took a picture looking out from inside the box to simulate what an incubating peregrine sees. It's a pretty nice view of Columbus!