May 13 2016
Most of us have never seen peregrines nesting at wild cliffs so it’s a real pleasure to find this excellent video from Hokkaido, Japan showing a pair nesting by the sea.
Click on the screenshot above to watch peregrines’ family life as the chicks grow up from ages two to five weeks.
Here’s what you’ll see:
- The male chases dense flocks of birds to separate out a single bird and capture it.
- 1st feeding, chicks 2 weeks old (This is C1’s age today at Pitt): The male brings food close to the nest but not into it. The female leaves the nest to take the prey and carries it back to the nest to feed the chicks. If you were watching this feeding on a nestcam you would not see the male at all and might mistakenly think the female does all the hunting. Nope.
- 2nd feeding, chicks 3 weeks old: The chicks have full crops showing as gray bulges on their throats. This is a sign they are well fed. (You can see this bulge already on C1’s throat when he is full.) The chicks are not very hungry so after their mother eats she takes away the leftovers to cache them.
- 3rd feeding, chicks 4 weeks old: The chicks are half brown with growing feathers. They rush at their parents to grab the food and eat it on their own.
- Ledge walking and learning to fly, 5 weeks old: One chick flaps and lands at the bottom of the cliff in the water. Notice that he can swim! He gets out of the water and climbs the cliff. 🙂
Nestcams see such a tiny piece of birds’ lives that you might misunderstand what’s going on.
Peregrines are fascinating when you watch them from the ground.
(screenshot from video by Eduence Field Production, Ltd)