Out of the Nest Box
The falcon chick is now 3.5 weeks old and is growing up right before our eyes! Primary feathers can be easily detected as they continue to develop along the chick’s wings and will soon be followed by the emergence of body feathers which will give the chick a more mottled-looking appearance. In addition to feather development, the chick has been exercising its muscles and has been regularly spotted stretching its wings as well as practicing its ability to tear off pieces of meat from prey items that have been delivered by the parents. Furthermore, the chick made its first venture outside of the nest box earlier in the week on Wednesday, June 3rd. After hopping off the edge of the nest box around 5:51 pm, the chick spent some time exploring its surroundings before returning to the scrape at 7:23 pm. Check out the video below to see the chick’s first successful attempts to jump out of and then back into the nest box.
As the chick becomes increasingly mobile and better able to walk around, it may wander off camera for several hours at a time, or even spend the night off camera as we documented last night. This is a normal part of peregrine falcon chick development and has taken place in past years with other broods. There are several other sheltering opportunities along the ledge, and viewers should not become overly concerned if they are not able to detect the chick on camera as reliably as they used to. The parents will continue to watch over the chick and provide it with prey items, even when it is located outside of the nest box.
And, if you have been watching closely, you may have even seen the visitor that stopped by and surprised mom and chick yesterday! Don’t worry if you missed it; you can rewatch the exchange in the video below.