Orange sizzled over the weekend, with 30 C plus temperatures. The birds are continuing to feast on the cicadas and I think that it’s pretty good training for them, although I’d like to think they are also chasing larger prey by now.
Here is Budhin chasing out Xavier, while clutching a little invertebrate treat:
And another, which I think is more likely to be Gaama. Both juveniles are actually quite small and tricky to tell apart, although Gaama does appear to be a little bigger than Xavier.
But it’s not all about insects. Here Xavier is bringing in a bird prey (unidentified at this stage, but quite small). Diamond assumes it is for her, but, alas, our Xavier is back to his old tricks and takes off with it again. To be fair, it’s probably a training tool for the juveniles and she’s perfectly capable of catching her own prey at this time of year! Every night we see her come back to the box with a very full crop, so she’s not missing out.
Let’s hope the birds take care as there is rain forecast for the next few days, as well as thunderstorms daily. This can make hunting dangerous, especially for inexperienced birds – and it might make it a bit harder for me to do updates, but I’ll do what I can.
Incidentally, I was sent an interesting article on how people who watch webcams react when nature takes a nasty turn eg through siblicide (when youngsters fight etc.). It’s worth a read. I’ll add the link in a comment below, and it’s on the Google hangout. We don’t really interfere on this site, but we’ve never really needed to. The only action I’ve needed to take was to collect birds that have ended up in appropriate places (eg car parks) after fledging as these are man-made obstacles. I put them in a tree and the parents always find them again. I did feel sorry for our old, lame female Swift a few years ago and slipped her a galah or two when she was at her weakest (she leapt on them with gusto), but that was an exceptional circumstance (perhaps!). I never interfere with hatching problems. I’m concerned the birds might abandon the nest.
I’ll leave you while I’m watching the sky darkening; could rain tonight I think.
Thanks so much for the updates. Great to see the juvies doing so well! I’m looking forward to the article about the webcam viewers too…I know I get a little squeamish when things get more brutal. Lily
Here is the link I promised about the webcam viewers. They had to close a cam, not because of the violence of the birds, but due to the aggression of the viewers!
. Sorry to be so slow – had to do my Christmas shopping wrapping and posting this morning.
Wow, fascinating article. Thanks for the link. People do get very invested in these birds we watch on cam…it’s just human nature. But we’ve got to remember that actual nature is what we’re watching! Personally I would find watching starving chicks the hardest…more than chick killings and predation. Luckily peregrines seem to be great providers. I have yet to see any peregrine chicks going hungry for too long.
We are never short of starlings, pigeons and parrots here, so peregrines are well provided for. The limitations here are nest sites.
The article about web-cams is fascinating. We’ve seen the same here with the Collins St falcons and the Sydney Sea Eagle cam. I think the great leaps in technology have brought quite a lot of unexpected consequences. Sometimes we forget that what is on the webcam is a privileged peek into a world we would never see any other way, and not something staged and scripted for our entertainment.
We are a weird species, generally speaking – more comfortable with, complacent about (or perhaps just desensitised to) footage of people starving and suffering in war zones than footage of perfectly natural eagle behaviour.