Relationship consummated ?

I couldn’t see exactly because of the camera angle, but Xavier has certainly tried to mate with Diamond (and the ‘kicking episode’ was I think another aborted attempt) – in fact while she was covering the eyases.    This is unusual behaviour for our birds;  while the sulphur-crested cockatoos carry on as if the nest-box was a brothel, the falcons have always cemented their relationships outside (not in any demure way, I should add, as it often happens right on top of the water tower!).



Although Xavier hasn’t brought much food into the box and when he does, he is a bit shy of handing it over, I think he is hunting and handing prey over outside and probably also using a cache as Diamond often comes back with prey dressed to eat in a time period that is not possible for her to have made the kill herself.   In fact I’ve seen her chase after X when he does a fly-past (probably with prey, but I couldn’t see).

I’m not concerned about the naughtiness of Xavier in not handing over the prey.   That was common with other males, at least to start with and I think he is probably a first-time “father”.  I don’t know if behaviour is different from actual fathers…something I’ll look into when I get time, but I do think they have to learn how to raise chicks and Diamond appears to be happy to teach him.

Dance for the rosella
Dance for the rosella


Prey has been difficult to identify due to it generally being well plucked and dismembered, but there have definitely been pigeons, starlings and rosellas (I think this is probably a crimson rosella), all good sized birds and I’ve noticed that Diamond is usually careful to see that all three chicks get a feed.

And yes we probably should start thinking about names.  I was reluctant before as I wasn’t confident of any chicks surviving, but I’m feeling better about this now.   What about naming them for local eucalypt species where they roost?   dives,(pronounced: DIVE-es),  melliodora, viminalis, bridgesiana, rubida, mannifera, blakelyi (perhaps suitably abbreviated:  dive, mell, vim, bridge, roob, manni, blake).   Of course, they are pretty difficult to sex or tell apart until they are a few weeks old, but one can try!

Put a post up with your three favourites and I’ll do a quick poll!

I’m busy with preparing our site for tree-planting and propagation Thursday and Friday, and the day itself is on Saturday, but will keep an eye on things and will come in on Sunday to try and catch up.






19 thoughts

  1. Abbreviations could be Melli, Rubi and Siana…seriously names of students in my class over the last few years!!

    What does a successful mating mean?

  2. I’m partial to Dive, Roob and Blake – at least 2 are “unisex” names, ha ha.

    I’m loving the craziness of Xavier – he’s such a character. The lovely Bula seemed so calm and laid-back in comparison to this little firebrand with his crazy eyes and his hoppy antics.

  3. Deb – What does a successful mating mean?
    Reply – egg

    I’d like to wait til we observe their behaviors in full view before naming. So far I only see their likl faces beeking each other – in which case – one’d be named – Gimmesomadat – lol

    Cilla, thanks for this blog!
    Xavier wants some candy for his gifts!
    Dont most men? 😀

  4. Crikey, they’ll need a bigger house…… Now I know why Diamond kicked him away 🙂 3 mouths to feed are quite enough!

    I often see falcons with their brood in front of them.
    Diamond is keeping her kids in the corner – why?
    She is having trouble covering them.
    They are growing. They need to amble about.

    She has accepted Xavier as her mate –
    but perhaps doesnt really trust him –
    yet she leaves him with them and flies off

    hmmmm …..

  6. As I said to Shep elsewhere, maybe we should call this “bonding” rather than mating? I need to learn about peregrine fertility, an osprey wouldn’t be fertile at this stage, I don’t think.

    I don’t favour Blake, as the other 2 would sound cute but poor Blake would sound like a bloke. So I’d go for Melli, Rubi and Vimmi.

    I’ve revived my ledge laptop but forgot to put the browser on auto-refresh, so I don’t know how long Xavier has been sleeping on the ledge. It is so nice to see the couple apparently settling into a comfortable routine.

  7. Arjen, wow you’ve captured a LOT of mating LOL ……………. I just love your “Xavier leaves in a special way” … Looked like Diamond was presenting herself … took him by surprise hee hee

  8. Off topic

    I have been keeping an eye on the live feed on and off all day without once seeing Diamond, or indeed the chicks fed. The male has been in and out a few times calling. Hopefully I have just been very unlucky with my timing!

  9. Here’s Diamond with prey, she feeds the chicks and Xavier comes to watch.

    1m15s VIDEO =

  10. Deb – I like Lio – its unique – and genderless!
    Chicks are growing bigger and dont need to eat as often.
    Diamond stuffs them up and lets em sit
    I really wish she’d let them wander about!

    So if one appears next year, we will know them?

  11. I think ‘Mell, Rubi and Vim, or Vimmi ‘ seem to be your choice.

    In Australia, one needs several approvals for banding and, although I’m a licensed bander, and have state and federal permits, the university animal ethics committee rejected my application. Such is life.

    I was thinking of trying again next year as the arguments for identity are stronger, but we’ll see.

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