Autumn courtship

The leaves of the exotic trees in Orange are turning red and yellow and the nights are cooling, although it’s still surprisingly warm.   The youngsters are long gone.  We had a scare following a call about a falcon with an injured wing on a road in Orange, but it turned out to be a hobby, which is very similar, but smaller and more golden in colour.  that bird has gone into care.

Both birds have been regular visitors to the box.   Diamond has discovered a piece of wood I put in the corner to stop them building a scrape there (as it’s out of view of the both webcams) and is delighting on perching on it for hours, after her initial suspicions were allayed.  I intend to replace this with a sturdier rock.    She is spending most nights in the box, but is often away as well.  Xavier usually visits first thing in the morning.  Here is making rather a clumsy entry:



What is a bit odd is that both birds have been bringing prey into the box. Xavier brought in a small lump recently and looked hopefully around for someone to offer it to (!), and Diamond brought in a smallish prey after dark last night – and collected it before dawn this morning (so, whilst I could record it, I couldn’t identify it).  Whether she had been given this by Xavier or caught it herself, I don’t know.  But I do know that just prior to that she had been sitting on the ledge with an extremely full crop, so she certainly wouldn’t have been hungry, so I rather suspect it came from Xavier.


And the retrieval in the morning (but still dark):



The birds have also been bowing in courtship ritual, with Xavier dancing around Diamond in his usual light-footed way.  Nothing particular unusual about this as they renew their bonds at regular intervals, but a nice picture.



I”ll probably do one more post before I go overseas (I leave on May 14; back July 18).    Bye for now.



2 thoughts

  1. Thanks Cilla for your update. I sometimes saw our male falcon in Japan bringing food to the nest ledge and calling his mate even in non-breeding seasons.They might have had some kind of fight and he wanted to make up with her…? I don’t know. But not only dancing but sometimes presents may be necessary to keep their bonds (like us!), I guess.

  2. Thanks, Cilla 🙂 Yesterday afternoon (28 April) Xavier brought in another blob – quite a good sized one this time, headless and ready for the table…

    He flew out with it just as Diamond arrived. Tease!!! She waited a couple of seconds before heading out after him.

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