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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The best of both World's?

On one site that I monitor there are 2 fledged juveniles which given the time of year is perfectly normal, a male and a female, fairly recently fledged, both were grounders, now ok and learning there trade from the adults. Unfortunately there was a 3rd juvenile but it quite simply disappeared and was last seen on June 4th, a Fox is the likely culprit.
There are a few people that watch them and recently, last week, I have had a few chaps coming up to me and saying that the 3rd juvenile has returned. At the time I thought they were likely mistaking an adult sparring with their off spring, hence 3 birds in the air.

June 25th - the resident  juvenile male and female

On Wednesday 25th I was watching the 2 juveniles, sparring as per usual when they disappeared from view and then re –appeared shortly later, only this time there were 3 juveniles!
I know the 3rd juvenile has gone, as above I last saw it on June 4th, I was nonplussed then to see a 3rd juvenile interacting with the 2 regular juveniles, all 3 were sparring and getting on, I knew it was not the missing juvenile.

Further still it was not being attacked by the adults, they were sitting watching the interaction between the 3, all was well.
On further investigation I looked and the new juvenile was carrying the standard BTO metal ring and also an orange ring, I knew then where it was from. It had come from another localized pair that breed around ¾ of a mile away, 2014 is the first time that both sites have bred successfully simultaneously. The juvenile, quite amusingly has probably come over seeking a meal, the best of both worlds, 2 sets of adults feeding you or so it seems.

June 25th - ringed female in middle

The male doing his thing

Orange ring can just about be seen on bottom bird - plumage is slightly different as well

I have read about it in rural pairs but this is the first time I have encountered it, additionally to this it looks like it is becoming regular as the juvenile was again present on June 27th, June 29th and July 2nd.

June 25th - there's a peregrine in there somewhere, can also see the orange ringed bird

I will keep an eye out for her, she is a female, but to all intents and purposes it looks like this pair have gained an extra juvenile, they are back up to 3.Furthermore the neighboring adults and 2 remaining juveniles have gone back to Parliament( they don't nest there), I looked on Sunday June 29th afterwards but only 2 juveniles were present at Parliament. It could be that our new juvenile missed the boat when they moved from their nest site to Parliament and has latched onto this adjacent pair, unable to find her adults and siblings. It could also be that she has been to Parliament and is using both pairs of adults? I find it hard to believe that she is not aware of them at Parliament. 

June 29th - presumably the same juvenile female - orange ring can be seen., adult was sitting near her.

Overhead pretty low - orange ring showing

Watching her this morning (July 2nd) the adults fed her, totally accepted as if their own sibling.

It may also be that the adopted adults may well see this new ringed juvenile as the original 3rd bird that was lost, even though that was 3 weeks previous.

It’s a first for me and very unusual and brings many questions to mind.

1. Is the ringed juvenile moving between her blood adults and adopted adults?
2. It is way too early for her to go it alone but has she been rejected by blood adults (highly unlikely)

3. Given that I know she has been present 4 times with her ‘adopted adults,’ she comes from a brood of 3, is it the same ringed juvenile I have seen on the 4 occasions? I have not been able to read the orange ring yet on her but if there is another female that was ringed on the neighbouring site, who is to say it is the same female on the 4 occasions?Unlikely I know.

4. After last year’s successful foster juvenile placed with another pair and perhaps given the very early stage of post fledging, the adults natural reaction is to feed and react to the food call, would they still give the same reaction, say at the end of July?

I will go to Parliament on Saturday to see if there are still just the 2 juveniles present, if not I know where the other one is.

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