Some of you feel bad for Dorothy at the Cathedral of Learning because she has only one non-viable egg this year but consider this: She has five peregrine grandbabies a few miles away at the Gulf Tower.
Can you count five pink beaks in the photo above? They're all there.
Dori and Louie's fifth and final egg hatched yesterday in the 10 o'clock hour. Since Louie is Dorothy's son (by her first mate, Erie) those five nestlings are Dorothy's grandkids. Louie himself hatched in 2002, the very first year Dorothy fledged young, and is the only one of his hatch year known to nest.*
The Gulfcam video archives are spotty so I've made a slideshow of yesterday's highlights. Click on the photo to watch...
- 8:20am: The chick inside the final egg has made great progress pecking around the "equator."
- 9:34am: Off camera Louie calls as he arrives with food. Dori replies, steps away and returns to feed 4 chicks. Chick #5 has not officially hatched yet.
- 10:54am: Chick #5 is damp and propped in front when Louie comes to feed them. He looks up at the building. Perhaps he heard a sound inside.
- 10:56am: After only two minutes Dori returns to take over the feeding. Bye, Louie.
- 13:40 (1:40pm to 1:57pm): Louie broods the nestlings for nearly 20 minutes. Notice how he fills less of the camera frame than Dori does.
- 16:16 (4:16pm): Dori offers this prey item again because they didn't finish it last time. Eat up, kids!
- 19:28 (7:28pm to 7:39pm): Last feeding of the day. Sunset is only a half hour away. After they've eaten Louie stops by to say goodnight, bending over the chicks to watch them sleep.
Click here to watch the "grandkids" on the Gulfcam.
(snapshots from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)
* Yesterday Ann Hohn at Make-A-Wish read Louie's bands, so both Dori and Louie are confirmed at the nest this year.