Nestling prey

Most of the birds brought into the nest-box are in bits – hard to identify.  Beau, who is doing 90% of the hunting, obviously likes to have a quick chew before passing the prey onto Swift and/or Snow.   I do have a file of a few complete corpses from this breeding season, however, and out of a total of  35,  20 are common starlings (which are pest on this campus and vineyard), three are eastern rosellas (very common here), one red-rumped parrot, one  red wattlebirds, one crested pigeon, and some less specified: a few quails, parrots, other pigeons etc.   I also have a file of over a 100 other prey, which need further scrutiny for identification (if possible).

What is intriguing is whether the starlings really do dominate the prey at this time of year, or whether there is a bias due to the fact that Beau does not like starlings, so doesn’t have a go at these first before offering them to the family.  If pigeons are tastier, as I suspect they are,  they are less likely to arrive intact into the nest and more likely to make up some of the grey, unappetizing bundles of fur videos of which are cluttering up my hard drive.

More on this later when I’ve had time to go through the other tapes.   Here is Snow with an example of both starling and attitude.  And yes, I think he is a boy.

Snow with starling


4 thoughts

  1. Thanks, Cilla, for the fascinating info! I can’t imagine seeing those prey species in the wild (except for the starlings, unfortunately they are everywhere). Good luck to all of you, especially to Snow, for a succesful fledge. Those of us not close will miss him greatly.

  2. Thank you for all your work, Cilla (what a coincidence, the similar names!).

    Some of us at RSPB UK forums think that Snow is a boy, too. We have been following him since he was a day or two old.

    I am not an experienced birder, but I understand that it’s not unknown for perry chicks to fledge before they are ready. In urban areas they may be rescued and placed back on their ledge, I’m wondering what the situation would be if Snow took the plunge too early. He’s been giving me kittens!

    You may already have this “incident” on record, I captured it several days ago and would love to know what Snow’s motives were for behaving so dominantly towards his mum, and whether this behaviour is common in peregrines:

    I assumed he wanted Swift to wake up and go hunting, but could he have been exhibiting testosterone? 😉

    If all this has been covered already, sorry – I’m making an effort to catch up with the info whilst the streams are down. Hope you get investment to continue this wonderful project.

  3. Well, I’ve had both cams open now for about 30 min. No sign of Snow. He could be hidden out of cam view. . but, if not, he has fledged. . before 6 am!!! That little stinker. .

    Snow, if you are out there in the big world, stay safe. .

    I’ll keep the cams up just in case he pops into view. .

  4. Both parents have just been to the box (Beau brought breakfast, which swift retrieved and left with)…There was no welcoming committee (Snow), so he’s out there somewhere. .

    Looking forward to an update!!!

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