SW continues to take care of her young falcons, feeding and protecting them - a big job for a single parent. Master falconer and raptor biologist, Mr. John Blakeman, tells us, “There is a very, very high chance that SW will be able to feed her offspring. There's lots of prey out there, and she can nail them. But there may be some days where the eyasses go hungry. That merely motivates them to hunt on their own. This should work --- but who knows what really will happen”.
All of the juveniles are now flying successfully and, in fact, are soaring high in the sky. (The following pictures are file photos).
The fledglings will stay close to the nestsite for the next month or two, and SW will watch over them, feed them, and help them learn hunting and flying skills. Nest monitors, Mr. and Mrs. Saladin, describe juvenile fledgling behavior: “The juvies chase adults in the air, seeking food and practicing their aerial skills. They knock the adults off of perches trying to urge them to hunt for them. The juvies play in the air in what is referred to as "mock combat", chasing one another, stooping, maneuvering, tagging each other with their feet, and even inverting as if practicing for food exchanges.
The juvies also try to steal food from one another in the air, and chase after the juvie that gets the prey while calling loudly. They also go on "family hunting forays" where the adults and juvies cooperative hunt”.
If SW can successfully take care of her young for a little longer, soon they will begin their own lives and fly to parts unknown. Since they wear bands, we may find out what happens to them. Where will they go and how will their lives turn out?
This draws the 2010 Raptors in the City program to a close. Will Ranger recover and return to the Terminal Tower nestsite in Cleveland in 2011? Will SW, who is getting up in years, be able to keep control of her nestsite? Be sure to join us early next year when the cycle of life begins again.
Our thanks to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for sponsoring the FalconCams. Learn more about the museum at:
Our special thanks to Scott Wright, volunteer peregrine nest monitor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, for his many years of care and concern for the survival of the species and for the nest. And thanks to Mr. Wright for the generous use of his fabulous photos.
Thanks also to volunteer peregrine nest monitors Mr. and Mrs. Saladin for their descriptions and file photos of juvenile behaviors.
Pictures may be used by children for school and/or personal projects, but please photo credit.
In addition, our thanks to all people who have contributed to saving the species peregrine falcon in North America. With the help of people from all walks of life, the species is returning to health after nearly becoming extinct in North America.
They grab at leaves, and snap twigs off of dead trees. They often snatch butterflies, dragonflies, and insects as their initial prey items and eat "on the wing".
The juvies become progressively more aggressive toward the adults, and the adults, in turn perch in less conspicuous places and often try to hide from the juvies. The juvies chase adults even after they have recently eaten and mantle their prey from adults and siblings to keep it from being taken. As juvies get more advanced the parent will drop prey for them to catch and will even bring in live, wounded prey, so that the juvies can practice chasing and catching.