May 28 2012
“Careful there,” says Dorothy. Well, he wasn’t… but he’s OK.
Yesterday morning one of the three Pitt peregrine chicks lost his balance on the nest rail and fell into the gully two feet below. Whoops!
Don’t worry. He’s in a safe place. This has happened before.
In 2010 Dorothy and E2 had a crowded nest of five chicks. On May 25 Green Boy was snoozing on the nest rail when one of his siblings bumped him off the railing during wing exercises. He was six days older than this chick at the time.
Parent birds respond to these incidents based on the chick’s situation. In all cases they urge him to move to a safe zone, often by withholding food or using it as a delicious enticement. At cliff nests peregrine nestlings sometimes tumble to a lower ledge and their parents feed them there until they fledge.
Since Green Boy was old enough to ledge walk, Dorothy and E2 wanted him to climb back up to the nest. They withheld food — from all the chicks — for four and a half hours until he figured it out.
This nestling is younger than Green Boy so Dorothy and E2 may decide to feed him in place. There’s a lot of room under the nest and there are pathways to even larger open zones where he can eventually walk up the bulwark and return to the nest. He’s probably finding fallen food down there, too.
So now we’ll wait and see what happens. When you hear scuffling on the falconcam and no one’s moving, remember our explorer under the nest.
p.s. To see what happened when he fell, click on the photo above. I put yesterday’s archive on YouTube because I can’t figure out how to get the specific link from WildEarth. Anyone know?