Tuesday, May 17, 2016

4 Weeks

This year is the exception in that the nest box cam has been further doused with feces almost completely obscuring the view.  My theory is that the extremely cool weather recently has kept the chicks in the nest box more than they typically would be at this age.  Unfortunately, due to their age (4 weeks now) and their mobility, we cannot access the ledge therefore, the front of the camera won't be able to be cleaned again.  With the chicks still being primarily white and downy, they are pretty hard to see when they are inside the nest box!  But, it won't be long until their brown juvenile feathers come in more and that will make them more visible through the "fog".
For now, their white color does make them very visible when they are venturing out and down the lower ledge:
The ledgecam shows the view from east to west including the nest box at the far west end of the ledge.  Here is a photo that shows the ledge looking from the nest box (west) towards the ledgecam (east):
As you can see, there is quite a stretch of lower ledge space for them to explore--total length is more or less about 20 feet!  I often get asked about the dark mound in the center of the lower ledge (visible in both views).  This is a metal grate over a drain.
The next milestone (besides juvenile feathering) will be when the first chick makes it up to the upper ledge...stay tuned...!