Boise Falcons Doing Fine; Black-capped Chickadees Are Back In Town


The female takes her turn incubating.

The female takes her turn incubating.

It’s a nice balmy spring day here in Boise. 72 degrees, 19% humidity and a breeze. The downtown falcons are incubating and protecting the 4 eggs, just as their genetics dictate. And I finally got a photo of a Black-capped Chickadee who has been visiting our feeders and fountain bath for the past several days. And yes, the Rose Finches and English Sparrows are also here. I even pulled the winterization down from our gazebo so we can watch the birds better. Here are three photos that I got this afternoon of the Chickadee. Do enjoy. Left-Click to see any of these photos enlarged. Keep Looking Up!

Black-capped Chickadee in our backyard.

Black-capped Chickadee in our backyard.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Bashful Black-capped Chickadee visits our backyard.

Bashful Black-capped Chickadee visits our backyard.

Downtown Falcons Doing Well


11April2014_1a_Boise-Greenbelt_Osprey-NestThe Greenbelt Osprey Family is doing just great. Looks like their nest is complete. I wonder if there are any eggs? The Boise Falcons are also doing well. They are incubating the eggs and rolling them at times. The Mallards are active, although somewhat secretive as are the Canada Geese. I did not see any Wood Ducks, but there are plenty of Coots. Red-Winged Blackbirds and Northern Flickers were calling all along the Greenbelt. Enjoy these photos – the one to the left is probably the Tercel incubating the eggs downtown – and remember to Left-Click to see any of the photos enlarged. Keep Looking Up!

The Boise Downtown Peregrine Falcon nest.

The Boise Downtown Peregrine Falcon nest.

Turtle on Quin's Pond along the Greenbelt at the Water Park - Kayak Park or 36th Street Pedestrian area.

Turtle on Quinn’s Pond along the Greenbelt at the Water Park – Kayak Park or 36th Street Pedestrian area.

Getting up on the wave board at the Water Park at 36th Street.

Getting up on the wave board at the Water Park at 36th Street.

Riding the wave on the wave board.

Riding the wave on the wave board.

Boise Falcons Doing Great!


03April2014_1a_Boise-Falcons_4-EggsThe Boise Falcons have been very attentive towards their four eggs. The weather here in Boise has warmed up and the temperatures under clear skies are forecasted to be in the low to mid 70′s. The falcons will like the slightly warmer and dry weather. I received this information from the Peregrine Fund this morning about the eggs and incubation.

With the arrival of egg #4 on April 2, incubation is in full swing. The incubation period is 33-35 days. With a body temperature of 104 degrees F, the adults are able to keep the eggs warm even in cold spring weather. During incubation, a “brood patch” develops on the chests of the adults. This bare spot keeps the eggs in close contact with the parents’ bodies for maximum heat.

The patch remains for up to two weeks after the eggs hatch because new chicks are unable to regulate their own body temperatures for that long and continue to depend on their parents for warmth. The brood patch fades and feathers fill back in as the youngsters grow older.

I did get out on the Greenbelt today and found the Osprey nest with two adults building the nest. Enjoy these photos.

Spring blossoms on the Greenbelt

Spring blossoms on the Greenbelt

Sand Creek along the Greenbelt.

Sand Creek along the Greenbelt.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

Osprey pair building their nest.

Osprey pair building their nest.

Kayaker enjoying the higher water level on the Boise River. They are also filling the irrigation canals.

Kayaker enjoying the higher water level on the Boise River. They are also filling the irrigation canals.

Another kayaker. But one thing I did not realize when I took this photo is the Memorial Alter on the far shore. Was there n accident here?

Another kayaker. But one thing I did not realize when I took this photo is the Memorial Alter on the far shore. Was there an accident here?

Boise Falcons Are Doing Well


Here are some photos from mid-morning today. Both parents are taking good care of the eggs. Rolling them, doing maintenance on the scrape and keeping themselves fed. While one parent tends the nest, the other goes out and gets food. A nice trade-off. It looks like the shift times are about 30 to 45 minutes. At any rate, they are doing fine. I saw a photo today in the spring 2014 issue of All About Birds, where a nest of Bluebirds had a set of twins. “Twinning is rare in the bird world (fewer than half of 1% of waterfowl eggs in one study contained twins), but it’s never been observed in Bluebirds.” [pg 4, All About Birds, Spring 2014] Interesting. Now wouldn’t that be exciting if we had a set of twins! Keep Looking Up! and enjoy these photos.

The male incubates the eggs.

The male incubates the eggs.

Doing maintenance on the scrape and turning the eggs.

Doing maintenance on the scrape and turning the eggs.

The female takes her turn incubating.

The female takes her turn incubating.

4 Eggs In The Boise Falcon Nest


How great is this? We now have 4 eggs in the nest. You can’t really tell it here, for they are hidden under the female(?) incubating them. It is cool here at 49 degrees and just a light breeze. But here is a photo. I’ll see if I can get a photo of the actual eggs. The 4th egg was probably laid on April 2nd at around 8:00pm.Keep Looking Up!
03April2014_1_Boise-Falcons_4-Eggs

If one waits long enough, one will capture the scene they want. The Tercel arrives and the falcon (female) leaves. You can just see her movement on the left of the photo. Good image of the four eggs!

If one waits long enough, one will capture the scene they want. The Tercel arrives and the falcon (female) leaves. You can just see her movement on the left of the photo. Good image of the four eggs!

Now There Are Three Eggs in Boise!


[Photo Credit and Used By Permission: The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers]

[Photo Credit and Used By Permission: The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers]

Yesterday, Sunday, we had 2 eggs in the Boise falcon nest. This morning there are 3! In general, the clutch size is 4 eggs, although that does vary. So we may get one more egg. So whenever you are in downtown Boise, you might want to look up at the top floor – 14th floor – of the Capitol One Center at 10th and Main. Or you can keep watching on the Falcon Cam. There is a link in the sidebar on this page. And please remember, all of these photos that I have posted here of the interior of the nest box are Photo Credit and Used By Permission: The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers. Again, I thank them for allowing me to post these photos here. I know our readers appreciate the information. And directly from the Peregrine Fund page, I thought you might enjoy some information about the process you are watching. Enjoy! Left-Click the photo to see enlarged. Keep Looking Up!
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An adult Peregrine Falcon watches over a clutch of 3 eggs.
[Photo Credit and Used By Permission: The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers]

Pairs: Peregrine Falcons generally keep the same mate from year to year, but if one dies, the surviving bird will seek another.
Eggs: A typical clutch is three to four eggs, which are incubated for 32 to 35 days. The parents will use their beaks to roll and shift the eggs periodically during incubation. The male assists by sitting on the eggs while the female leaves to eat. The eggs will not hatch if they are infertile or the young dies during incubation.
Chicks: Called an eyas, a chick stays warm under its parent during the brooding period. Chicks are fed by both parents, who make sure each chick receives enough to eat. They are in the nest for six to seven weeks.
Fledging: Chicks prepare to leave the nest by flapping their wings in the nest, then taking short test flights. For about six weeks, they continue to be fed by their parents while honing their flying and hunting skills before striking out on their own.” [Peregrine Web Cam and information]
One adult protects the clutch of 3 eggs.

One adult protects the clutch of 3 eggs.

And Then There Were Two Eggs!


It is nice to have sound in the stream now. The connection seems to be better also. The Falcon Family is growing. I am sad to report that on March 28th, we lost a long time Falcon Team Watcher and one of the original Falcon Watch Team members, Margaret Gunnel. May you Rest In Peace, Maggie!

Two eggs in the nest. One adult protects and watches the eggs. The second egg was laid probably in the past 12 hours. There is a light rain falling.

Two eggs in the nest. One adult protects and watches the eggs. The second egg was laid probably in the past 12 hours. There is a light rain falling.
[Photo Credit and Used By Permission: The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers]