May 12 2008
I captured this photo on the Pitt peregrine webcam today and my first reaction was “They’re soooo cute!”
These three little white birds are 12-day-old peregrine falcon chicks, Dorothy and E2′s nestlings at University of Pittsburgh. They’re in the cute downy phase before they start to grow feathers.
Such bright-eyed babies! I’m amazed at how white they are. Even their beaks are white. And their feet are so large that they sit like little Buddhas with their toes in front of them.
I can tell they ate recently. There’s a bulge at the top of their chests showing their crops are full. (Many birds have crops, a muscular expandable section of the esophagus where they store food prior to digestion.)
Soon these babies will get sleepy and sprawl flat on their bellies.
Eating, sleeping, growing. That’s all they’re going to do until early June when they’re ready to ledge-walk and learn to fly.