Jun 07 2010

Three More Boys and Two More Girls

Published by at 3:39 pm under Peregrines

If you were watching the Gulf Tower webcam between 9:00am and 10:00am this morning you’ll have noticed a lot of excitement. 

Today was Banding Day.  All five peregrine chicks got new jewelry on their ankles, though not without a lot of shouting.  The whole family raised a ruckus.

Even before the event the father bird, Louie, was suspicious.  He’d already witnessed eight banding days in the years he’s nested at the Gulf Tower.  This was the ninth and he knew that lots of noise inside the building meant his kids were about to be taken from the nest. 

Louie stood guard atop the web camera, then enlisted Dori’s help. 

Dori guarded from the nestbox roof but she didn’t know what to expect.  She’s a new mother, new to the Gulf Tower and new to what happens on Banding Day. 

When Beth Fife and Doug Dunkerley came out on the ledge, Dori jumped down to the gravel but immediately flew out to attack from the air.  Her attacks were relentless but ineffective in keeping the humans away from her babies.  Since she didn’t stay on the nest, Dori was not captured as her predecessor Tasha normally was.

Indoors the chicks were examined, weighed and banded.  Beth held the chicks while Doug applied the bands.  In this photo Beth is holding one of the females who was temporarily quiet. 

All the nestlings are in good health:  Three boys and two girls, just like at Pitt this year

Before returning the chicks to the nest Beth pulled out the weeds and gathered the garbage but there was hardly any prey to analyze — just a lot of leafy weeds. 

Obviously Dori is a better housekeeper than her neighbor Dorothy at Pitt.

(photo by Kate St. John)

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Three More Boys and Two More Girls”

  1. Faith Cornellon 07 Jun 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Its a wonderful grand finale here; trying to keep up with Pitt & they did. Of course the good housekeeping seal goes to Dori!!!!!!!! But I miss the garden but like seeing alll the “kiddies”. TAlked to a women this AM from a bank nearby & she feels the Gulf birds get short shrift due to their location but I assured her we all watch both sites, just that the COL is more accessible to the watching public. Alot to be proud of here. Healthy chicks, good parents, good info from you Kate & all those involved here. Thank you more than you can know. And hopefully all will be well at Harrisburg, read latest message from them today.

  2. Hollyon 07 Jun 2010 at 9:49 pm

    aren’t the babies darling? and magnificent too? You are so lucky to see all this.

  3. Kathy McCharenon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:51 am

    I was watching while the chicks were gone (and before the clean-up) and one of the parents came back to the nest and just kept turning their head like they were trying VERY hard to figure out what had happened to their babies. It was very poignant. So glad all are in good health! Thanks for the update, Kate.

  4. Janet Christensenon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:53 am

    I finally was able to access the Gulf site and immediately knew that the chicks had to have been banded because all the weeds were gone. I immediately checked your site because I knew you would have the info. I also noticed that one of the young looks far more advanced in acquiring its pin feathers that the others I saw. What would be the reason for this? Would it have anything to do with Tasha’s eggs being laid before Dori’s? Thanks, Kate.

  5. Kate St. Johnon 08 Jun 2010 at 9:51 am

    The last to hatch of every brood looks less advanced at this point in feather development because the feathers grow so much in only one day.
    Pitt had a similar “less advanced” chick at banding time. (The last to hatch there was one of the males.)
    These birds catch up to their siblings when their feathers finish growing.

  6. Janeon 08 Jun 2010 at 10:06 am

    Janet C, did you go to Smith College in the early seventies? I was friends with someone with your name there.

    Kate, thank you so much for your blog. This New Yorker has been enjoying it very much.

  7. Nancy Weixelon 08 Jun 2010 at 10:52 am

    Are the baby falcons still on the COL? Has each one taken a flight? How long will they stay on the building?

  8. Amyon 10 Jun 2010 at 9:51 am

    Where are the GT babies when they are not on screen? They seem to be able to go “other places” now but I know they aren’t close to fledging!

  9. Kate St. Johnon 10 Jun 2010 at 10:43 am

    They can go to the left behind the pillar and gaze out at the view. They can also go down the ramp (in the front) where there’s a lot of territory to explore by the base of the camera. They will do that soon if they haven’t already.

  10. Kate St. Johnon 10 Jun 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Jennie Barker sent me this link to the WPXI slideshow of the banding:
    http://www.wpxi.com/slideshow/news/23820640/detail.html

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