Saturday is always a big day, especially if the weather is nice. No one is disappointed today, surfers, sunbathers, kite-flyers, and some to see the falcons.
By 7 something AM, Cleve Nash had seen three young and believed there might be a fourth. The photo above shows two distinct heads of chicks, but they are so camouflaged by grass and lichen-encrusted rock, there could be five.
I sat twenty feet away from Cleve with spotting scopes, four birders from Tasmania to Bakersfield with binoculars and cameras and still saw only two! The young seem to appear just after a parent bird arrives with a fresh kill. One of the chick claims the kill and mantles* it, keeping the siblings away until he or she is full. During this time, the other young appear as if they are looking for more food to be delivered. This is when they are visible.
If you are making a trip to see the young, know that the adult birds bring in prey items about every hour, so bring a chair and be prepared to stay at least that long. Some folks walk by, look in one of the many scopes to see the babies and feel they have accomplished it all in five minutes. Remember that you are on bird time and be cognizant of that. Hope to see you soon.
Happy trails, Bob
*mantle, verb – a bird of prey on the ground or on a perch will spread the wings and tail, so as to cover captured prey.