In respect of juveniles hanging around for so long and/or ‘defending’ the box, we’ve not experienced it before. Either the young birds have left the area after a few weeks, or, occasionally one has stayed around and been tolerated by the parents. There was little if any aggression, as far as I can recall. Swift (adult female) and Solo (juvenile female) spent hours together in the box, generally in the daytime, without any tension as far as I could tell.
According to Ratcliff (The Peregrine Falcon) juveniles have been known to hang around for two months after fledging. Two months = eight weeks. Olsen (Australian High Country Raptors) says 11-12 weeks. These birds have been in the area (and using the box often daily) for nearly fifteen weeks. It’s possible, of course, that the young have been around longer in previous seasons, just roosting in a different copse of trees that I have not been able to find….. absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence!
Females usually move further than males when dispersing (average: 120 km v 24 km), but there are exceptions. Some banded individuals of both sexes have turned up and bred at their nest sites.
We know Budhin is a male, but there is still some dispute about Gaama, who is the size of Xavier, but larger than Budhin, and with a rather aggressive nature for a male. As size is a better predictor of sex than behaviour, I am still pretty confident that Gaama is a male, but unless I can get him in the hand to measure wing length etc. we can never be sure.
Some videos from this week:
Budhin in the box
And Gaama bringing in a prey and leaving it: https://youtu.be/7vgGJQPX5s4
Juvenile with a cicada (casing only, I thinik): https://youtu.be/8RyLbsPT7Sg
And a very early visity by Budhin: https://youtu.be/q2QAclQZSIE
And here is a happy memory: Bali coming back to the box shortly after fledging last season.
What do you make of Gaama bringing prey to the box and leaving it, Cilla, as he did this morning? (Diamond came in later and gobbled it). Thankfully X put in an appearance this morning, as I had started to wonder whether his absence was related to juvenile aggression, and whether the juvenile prey-bringing behaviour + absence of Xavier was a consequence of some sort of weird Oedipal courting thing. (I know, I need to get out more, ha ha ha!)
Orange juveniles break record of all time this year. It’s odd, but pleasant for viewers. Impossible to bet when they will really leave…
Thanks for the update, Cilla.
Sunday 24th – 10.15 – female arrives, and at first I think it’s Diamond. Thern I’m not so sure. The bird in the box has far more speckles on her bib than Diamond – and some are more streaks than speckles. Is this the very last bit of juvenile plumage disappearing from someone like Marragaay? Could yet another of the offspring be returning to the tower, or is this someone new??? This bird arrived silently with a full crop and blood on her claw. She flexed it for a while, then rested on the far side of the box. She measured almost a full centimetre taller than Diamond but was a little narrower at the shoulder. She didn’t appear to be fazed by the surroundings. I’m baffled. As I write this, she’s been there for 2 full hours…