Observation date: 16 April 2014
For the last ten years or so I have been observing and trying to predict the day of hatching of young falcons. I do this by watching to see “this” and then “that” in their behavior. I thought after I retired in 2008, I would really be good at it because I could watch every day. For the first four years, I was 2 for 4, .500 in baseball. The last six years, I’m 0 for 6. It seems I’m always one, two or three days off. This year has been my worst. Four days off ! Yes, you guessed it. They hatched today !
I had predicted the 20th of April and twice today the tiercel brought prey to the nest site then left immediately. The female did not come out either time. This all took place around noon. At 2:30PM he brought another prey item. She still stayed in the nest. I left at 3:00PM. He was still sitting under the “mantle” with bloody talons and a feather stuck to the side of his beak.
If they are feeding young, as I believe, and not filling the nest site with carcasses, you should be able to see them the 1st of May. This is when they come out to the edge of the nest site to defecate. I remember when she used this hole in 2010, the young had to climb up to the opening, so it took a little longer for us to see them. Stay tuned.
Happy trails, Bob
Item: Other nest sites being level, the young appear sooner at the edge. This nest site is more difficult.