Little piggies & prey analysis

The chicks contine to eat until they collapse into a ‘food coma’ to sleep it off.  Prey has been coming in thick and fast, even this morning in the rain.  Mostly starlings, with the occasional parrot or larger prey.  In fact Diamond was so sick of starling she went hunting herself this morning and came back with a rosella, pushing past Xavier as if to say ‘Now, Xavier, this is PROPER food for chicks’.

Here’s a decent meal for a change!

VIDEO  20181004 0801 h Ros di caught, plus remains of star


Mind you the chicks will eat anything shoved their, even it seems starling legs, until Xavier thought better of it.

VIDEO  20181003 X feeding drumsticks

Due to a question on the chat on YouTube ‘how many prey’ items have come in, which I coudn’t answer, I had a look at my files.   I have over 6000 images (stills and videos) and, at a wild guess, I have usually about 5 images per prey (more if they are interesting/difficult to identify, but often only one or two for whole prey).

So I probably have about 1000 prey to analyse.  Some of these are definitely identified (perhaps 100), another 100 or 200 are just to be confirmed by a second opinion, and the rest are unidentified and will mostly be classified by size.  I’m currently trying to work out how to do this as it’s not as simple as it seems.   I’m currently using the known  prey as examples and trying to use only images where the birds are fairly straight on t the camera.  I’m measuring the length and width of the torso to get a m2, then doing the same for the peregrine in whose clutches it is, then calculating a ratio.  When I’ve finished, I will see how much consistencey there is between the ratios of the known species.  If the variability is too wild, I may have to abandon this method.   Anyway, I’ll let you know how I go.



7 thoughts

  1. Good luck with identifying the prey Cilla. Will hopefully be easier going forward as the number of unprepped birds seems to be increasing.

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