What I actually do and week old chicks

I’m still only up to last night, so I think I should explain what I’m actually doing.   Every action 24/7 and usually 52 weeks of the year (but with some gaps) is recorded in 1/2 minute intervals and is summarised hourly.  Categories include all the behaviours that you might expect such as incubation, feeding chicks, eating, interaction etc. with male, female and (eventually) juvenile behaviour recorded in separate columns.     And this is the fifth year.   I was hoping to compare the Swift/Beau pair (3 years) with Diamond/Bula (3 years, including 2017), but of course circumstances have intervened.    I also record all the prey items and store images of these and I have a huge collection of videos and stills of the prey (and of course of much of the other behaviour).   One prey item yesterday was probably a parrot by a glimpse of royal blue.

So those of you who were wondering if I needed to be sent images, notes etc. be assured that that is not necessary, though I appreciate your kind thoughts.  When one of the cameras was not linked to the recording software, I did have a problem for a week, but that’s now fixed.  The Milestone software allows me to skip periods of inactivity (but there’s not much of that at the moment!).

I’m going a bit more slowly this year, partly because so much has been happening, but also because I’m entering the hourly summaries into a spreadsheet as I go along.  In previous years, I didn’t do this and so I now have a huge backlog to enter.   If anyone feels like helping out in this respect, let me know:).

So apologies if I can’t give you instanteous feedback, but at the moment I’m struggling to keep up.  I can’t leave the recording of the data too long as it overwrites itself when the full.  And I’m away several days next week for meetings next week (I’m on the Executive of our state Nature Conservation Council, plus up to my ears in other conservation/landcare/music groups), so it’s not going to get any better (but at least Scott will be back).  I have a major landcare-cum-music event to organise for Saturday, so it’s a busy week and I do need to go home occasionally!

And you should be aware that the research, whilst approved by the CSU Animal Ethics committee, is virtually unfunded and both Scott and I volunteer our time, so I’d like to thank you for your patience.

But everything is going really well with our new pair and their approximately week old chicks, eyes just starting to open.

20161010-x-with-week-old-chicks-3 20161010-x-with-week-old-chicks-4

Who are these strange creatures?  Not mine, that’s for sure!


Chicks alone
Chicks alone
Diamond with her growing babies
Diamond with her growing babies

Good good luck and good night.   We have someone coming tomorrow to do some recording, which will be interesting.


19 thoughts

  1. Thanks for all that Cilla. It’s interesting to know what your falcon work involves – it must take up an enormous amount of time, and is much appreciated. I shall be more mindful about asking frivolous questions!

    Xavier is looking pretty settled in the box at the moment, and has been there for ages, even snoozing. He certainly looks ”at home” – what a change from this time last week!

  2. 9.10 pm Xavier still inside box, as Sue said – dozing off n on
    I wonder if there is a threat outside – owl, hawk, another male falcon
    Check out previous thread

  3. 8.30 pm Xavier still there
    9.36 pm Xavier still there, dozing
    10.30 pm he stretched a leg and walked out of view, stood on ledge facing out, preening

  4. I like the frivolous questions….but I need to allocate a specific time each day or so to catch up with the recordings, and then answer them; otherwise I get too distracted and don’t get other stuff done…..

    I don’t blame X for wanting to share the box; it’s only 2 degrees tonight…brrr

  5. Its after midnight Oct 12
    Xavier’s been standing on the ledge keeping watch.
    I thot I saw a bird fly by at a distance – no way I cud be sure.
    This is certainly unusual to me! I have never observed the male doing this.

  6. SHEP – Thank you for your input re Diamond kicking away Xavier yesterday (I posted the short vid on previous blog. I’ve now set it to play half-speed, it was playing almost FF for some mysterious tech reason.)

    Xavier has eased himself into the shelter a little, but not active yet.

  7. Here is the morning from first movement (more or less) until breakfast finished.

    Some ledge shots are missing – not for want of trying, I just cannot keep it going, even with 15-minute refreshes, and I suspect that “crucial” ins and outs probably occurred during some of them, and the rest of the time it was mostly frozen :'(

    Xavier has been very attentive.

    5m13s VIDEO = youtube.com/watch?v=hPaTgSArdlU

  8. A little while ago Diamond went out and came back empty, but shortly afterwards Xavier shot in (having frozen in the air for many seconds, I chopped out most of them) with prey, yay!

    But he wouldn’t relinquish it and dodged around the scrape and out again with it! Diamond settled back on the chicks and just looked at us 😮

    44s VIDEO = youtube.com/watch?v=a649ztVQikc

  9. Xavier has come back with prey but Diamond has left… oh here she is, let’s see what happens…

    After some dodging about, she has it !!!

  10. Well that was very good, Xavier handed over the prey willingly, the dodging came after 🙂

    1m27s VIDEO = youtube.com/watch?v=kauIEsT_X3s

  11. Mating attempt – at least partially successful, Diamond didn’t seem to object.

    1m14s VIDEO = youtube.com/watch?v=3NFTUnjh9dc

    Xavier has been back a couple of times at least, with and without Diamond in the box.

  12. Scylla, your story of this afternoon’s adventure between Diamond and Xavier is so precious! Thanks for keeping us informed and posting the video links.

  13. Oh thank you, Fullfledged, I really glad to be of service 🙂

    After this I shall have to turn in.

    Diamond has been on the ledge for the longest time! No sign of Xavier while she’s been there. Here’s a little tribute as she has a stretch of wings and tail:

    35s VIDEO = youtube.com/watch?v=5_t3fVl5IzI

    PLUS! My perry laptop has just died so I won’t be able to cover the ledge any more until ???

  14. It is unusual for a male to be in the box all night, but not completely unknown. She is a very ‘tolerant’ female, I’ve noticed! I’ll start a new thread with piccies of our peregrine porn!

  15. scylla, that was interesting about Xavier’s mating attempt. I dont think her tail moved aside. Another egg at this point would much surprise me.

    Cilla – LOL! pereporn! *eyeroll*

  16. Hi Cilla, I am in Tassie and only found these gorgeous falcons after reading about Diamond and her ‘lost’ mate, on the White Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s chat. I came on when the eggs had no mummy on them and like you was v worried about this! Thank goodness for Xavier, (our saviour, lol) who seems to be learning and feeling more comfy in his roll. I’ve been lucky, catching most feeds. Where do we put our suggestions for the names? Also wondering when chicks can thermoregulate themselves? Thank you for your work Cilla, and Scott. There are many, many fans out here from all over the world 🙂

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