If you’ve been keeping up with Boise’s Fastest Family, you’ve probably noticed that we have four fluffy chicks in the nest, they’re growing like weeds, and mom hasn’t been spending as much time incubating.
In the next 3-4 weeks, the chicks will be going through a lot of changes. Their fuzzy hatchling down will give way to full feathers and they will grow to be the size of a full adult Peregrine. Because of their increased size and the warmer weather, the parents do not need to spend as much time incubating. They do, however, need to spend significant more time hunting to feed the growing chicks.
Fortunately for our chicks, both parents are talented hunters. During one 20 minute viewing session last week, we watched dad deliver small prey items to the nest ledge twice! Later that day, mom brought back a full-sized pigeon and spent approximately 30 minutes feeding the chicks and herself from the large quarry.
One of the most interesting things about watching the FalconCam at this stage of chick growth is to see what prey items are brought to the nest and how the chicks eat. Not all chicks eat at every feeding. Often one or two chicks in the back of the cluster won’t be fed during one session, but will get the majority of the food at the next feeding. The parents usually feed based on a chick’s feeding response – which is often just the chick opening its beak as the parent holds food nearby. A chick that is full from a previous feeding won’t exhibit a strong feeding response, which cues the parent to move on to another chick.
Can’t say that it has been exciting watching the falcons from the camera in the box. Generally, they are not there but rather probably on the ledge somewhere and out of camera sight. As of 1635 this afternoon, I have heard of no “incidents” with the falcons. Although, Robin and I did see people on the roof of the Cap One Center and the adults were not happy! The chicks were probably below the “intruders” on the ledge. The people knew that the Peregrines were there – I think they were dived on. Here is what Robin and I saw. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up!
I received word this week from the Peregrine Fund that the Boise falcon chicks were checked medically – they passed with flying colors – and they were banded. There was no word on the probable sex of each bird. Here is the complete text of the notification from the Peregrine Fund. Keep Looking Up and Left-Click any of these screen shots to see them enlarged.
“The Peregrine Fund chicks are sporting new jewelry today after having been banded by biologists from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game this morning. In addition to banding the chicks, wing and leg measurements were taken, and health was observed. All four falcon chicks appeared to be healthy and thriving, and the data collected will help researchers to continue monitoring the condition of the Peregrine Falcon population within our region.”
“Did you know that the earliest recorded use of “bird bands” was made around 218-201 B.C. when a thread was tied to a crow’s leg to send messages between Roman officers during the Punic Wars? Since that time, the technology of banding birds has improved greatly. Bands are now often made of aluminum or another lightweight material imprinted with a series of unique numbers to help identify the bird, and people who band birds are required to obtain a special banding permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fact, scientists rely on banding for data collection so much that in 1909 the American Bird Banding Association was formed to organize and assist the growing number of bird banders throughout North America.”
“So the next time you are watching the FalconCam, make sure to keep an eye out for the chick’s shiny new bands!”
While watching the falconcam this morning, the tiercel brought in some food when the female was brooding. She left the chicks for an instant. There were 3 chicks and 1 egg clearly visible. That fourth egg should hatch soon. Here are some screen captures from the feeding this morning. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up! There is a link to the Boise Falconcam in the sidebar. Watch the falcons via live feed. And as a Note: It is very noisy around the nest this morning. Voices; scaffold/equipment moving?; and not from street level. Close enough to hear voices. Mom is on constant alert.
The Peregrine Fund announced today that the firtst Boise peregrine falcon chick has hatched and it looks well! Here is their announcement,
It’s a chick!
The first Peregrine Falcon chick hatched from its egg late yesterday afternoon. You’ll have to keep close watch on the camera to see it, though, as the parents have been doing an excellent job of keeping it and its still-shelled siblings safely incubated. The other chicks should hatch in the coming days, so keep your eyes on the webcam and let us know via the observations section of the webcam site or on our Facebook page if you see anything exciting! Follow the FalconCam at Boise Falconcam.”
Keep watching the Falconcam! Keep Looking Up! And as of 1347 today, 6 May 2015, there are three chicks hatched. I just got this screen capture. Looking good!
Nope. None today. Oh yes! I did see one on the Banner Bank early this morning while going to Alia’s for a Manhattan Breakfast. And then, while munching away on the lox from Alia’s and enjoying a Hendricks and Tonic – it’s 5:00 somewhere – I did see 2 Hummingbirds in the backyard. But wouldn’t you know it – I did not have the camera set. But I did get some photos of other delightful wildlife sorta in our backyard. And as for this photo I took in 2013 of one of “our” falcons, it’s not from this year. But I like the shot. Worth a repeat. Enjoy! Keep Looking Up! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.
Yup! Our little Boise falcon “fuzz balls” have decided to fly. So far as I can tell, at least two of them. I was downtown this morning between 10 am and 11:30 am and saw only two little ones. I didn’t even see or hear the adults, although I know that they were around. The 3rd eyass needs to be spotted, too. The camera view has been changed from the inside of the nest box to the runway ledge. Too bad they can’t do a split image between the inside of the box and the runway. The service is donated, I think, so we need to appreciate what we have. The photo here is the nest box from the Eastman parking garage. Here are some photos I took this morning. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up!
I did receive this notice from the Peregrine Fund late last night.
The chicks fledged over the weekend. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game received two calls about birds on the ground. On Saturday, the fledgling eventually flew from the sidewalk into a tree and so it was not retrieved. On Sunday, the young falcon could not be located when the rescuer arrived, but three birds (the fledglings?) were observed atop the nearby Wells Fargo building while one bird (an adult?) was flying overhead.
If anyone has photographs of the new fledglings, we will create a slide show for this page. Please send your photographs (medium resolution) to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and contact information.