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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

' Wingy ' still present.

December 28th/29th

Over the weekend I popped a visit in to check if the wing impaired juvenile was still with us, if he was it would be the latest I have ever had one stay with the adults.I am calling him a juvenile for reference even though he is in fact now a 1st winter peregrine.
On arrival at dawn, I couldn't find a peregrine let alone a juvenile so I went round the sunnier side of the building, this proved more positive.

Both adults were present and wingy was also with us sitting not 3 metres from his mother with the Tiercel perched up slightly lower so acceptance by both birds of his presence but possibly not feeding him.

As I checked each bird, it was a bright morning and had also been a clear night, I noticed that all 3 had bulging crops, for them to be like this at dawn meant nocturnal hunting most likely took place. This pair I know having watched them before on clear nights (the site is illuminated) as late as 11.00pm and 4.00am in the morning when I was a lot keener, do slip away in the dark, I have refereed to night hunting in past posts.

In regard to all 3 this morning, I can’t see all 3 suddenly interrupting sleep at the same time in the middle of the night to feed on stashed prey, it has to be a reaction to nocturnal birds moving round or migrants moving through – say Redwing. I know from past prey collections that this species is a big night time mover especially on clear nights, I have recovered quite a few over the years. Another night mover due to the sites geographical location is Coot and Moorhen, both are weak fliers that move around in the dark in comparative safety, both are recorded as regular prey.

For wingy, and I suspect this is the case, it enabled him to take easy prey in the darkness, he either just goes when one or both adults head towards the heavens in pursuit of prey or this is a regular occurrence on clear nights, in short it is ‘natural’ to hunt in the dark on clear nights.
Whatever the case I reckon he took prey on his own going by the fact that the Falcon would not feed him earlier in the month, it also raises the question how much longer will he be accepted?

As I write this on New Year’s Day, breeding season and pair bonding will soon be upon us, what happens then if he doesn't go of his own accord, lots of questions arise due to his presence.
The fact that he is around I have always put down to his wing but is it? It is easy to read human emotions into it and look at it that the adults are tolerating him due to the wing and his presumed lack of confidence in leaving.
Is it that the parental bond is still strong, even if they are not feeding him this far down the line and will only stop when they breed again, what does it mean if he is still present in February /March?

Lots of questions.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and thanks for reading the blog.

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