Marri departs and night-hunting starts

After not being seen or heard for a few weeks now, it is assumed that our big girl Marri is on her way to independence. The duration of time from fledging to dispersal is well within normal range and although she hasn’t turned up in the box with prey like some of her siblings, we can assume that she is now a proficient hunter.

Since 23rd January, the adults have been observed leaving the tower to hunt at night. To date, they have brought in 11 prey items (one by Xavier, nine by Diamond, one unknown) to be consumed on the tower, mostly on the white antenna. Five of the prey were identified as small grebes (Australasian or hoary-headed), primarily by their lobed feet and size, and the others were unidentified. These birds only fly short distances to new locations at night and it is thought that they do this to avoid predators, but clearly the peregrines have worked out when and where this is occurring….perhaps taking young ones on their maiden flights?

It certainly indicates that peregrines can see well at night. Many of the nights have been dark without the aid of moonshine. There have been no more incidents now for a week, so perhaps it is just a seasonal opportunity.

Here is an example of Diamond with her second prey of the night: