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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What price December?

On Monday I paid another visit to a regular site, this is the site of the juvenile with the damaged wing referred to in very recent posts, see Late Juvenile and Late Juvenile – impaired?
As yet I have still not been able to read its leg ring but am now pretty sure it is a male after getting better views of its structure and head and being able to compare its size directly with its Dad on Monday.
It’s easy to be wrong with them and as much as you think you know, there is always more you don’t know, it is good to be wrong as it gives you a kick up the arse.

As you can see from above it is still present and I am now wondering if it will go into December, from all the visits in November, 4 in number it is solely reliant on the adult Tiercel to provide food although visually it flies well. The key I think to it staying that the Falcon seemingly has not been present all November , she does do this most winters and leaved the Tiercel to hold territory and defend the nest site. The Tiercel shows no hostility to it and I observed them on Monday morning sitting not a metre from each other, if the Falcon was to return now it may well be a different reaction and story. Would she just accept the juvenile still being present, who knows, do they recognise that it may not be capable of taking its own prey, I very much doubt it?


On the part of the Tiercel the same thing has happened twice that I have observed, again on Monday also, the juvenile is intercepting him in flight when he is returning with prey, this is normal, a food pass. The adult has little choice in releasing the prey as he is so low anyway, it is always early morning, no lift or heat, a feral pigeon is quite a heavy bird. What I am getting at is he intentionally letting go and feeding him or does he have little choice in the matter? In short is the juvenile mugging his Dad knowing that in flight this is his best way of getting food off him, otherwise if he lands it might be a different story and he may not relinquish the prey and mantle it.

Additionally is the adult Tiercel so conditioned to feeding and providing even at this late stage, he possibly cannot help himself, the presence of the juvenile and the constant begging call just acts as a stimulus? How long does the maternal instinct go on for?


Adult Tiercel

Saying all the above, if the adult wanted the prey for himself surely he would fly to a different area and location to hunt and feed?

I have also been thinking of the wing damage, juvenile males always seem to leave first and one possibility is that he has tangled with another peregrine; at least 3 primaries are missing.
P2, 3 and 4 seem present but it looks as if P5, 6 and 7 are gone, possibly 8 as well, he flies ok, even with prey but I suspect it must effect his manoeuvrability when chasing prey.

The only other scenario would be an injury whilst pursuing prey and possibly clipping an obstacle low down in the heat of the chase.
Unfortunately this will not rectify itself until he gets his first moult in 2014, the trick will be staying alive that long…..

I am hoping that the wing damage is not as restrictive as I think and the adult Tiercel is being extra tolerant and allowing him to stay, will the Falcon share his views when she returns, I very much doubt it.

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