Not long to go now

I predicted that the egg hatching would commence after 1st October, so you can start looking for pips (holes in the egg made by the chick trying to emerge) any day now. We still have three eggs, but haven’t had three chicks for some years.

Once we know how many healthy chicks we have, we will have a competition to name the chicks. This year the theme is Wiradjuri names for native Australian mammals. You get to pick three names out of twelve selected by myself and the chat moderators.

During incubation, the number of prey items has dropped dramatically down to one or less per day, mostly pigeons, starlings and eastern rosellas. This will of course increase once there are hungry moths to feed. Diamond will do most of the feeding (males are not very good at this, often trying to feed small nestlings with food chunks too big for their tiny beaks) and she will not hunt from hatching until the nestlings are large enough to regulate their temperature ie safe to leave.

We have had a juvenile female hanging around recently. It even visited the box. This is unusual, but not unprecedented. We know that it is not one of our offspring as we have only had males for the last few years and this one is probably only a year old. She may have come from Ophir or Mount Canobolas, two known cliff sites in the locality (both over 10 km away). She is very striking bird and was clearly rather impressed with our own handsome Xavier (who was having none of it!). Diamond chased her off a few times. Having juvenile plumage is an indication that she is not a serious threat. If she had adult plumage, Diamond might attack her.