As soon as you read that title, I bet you thought I was going to bombard you with more floofs, cute little Peregrine Falcon eyases. Not today. Surprise! The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge cam operator gave everyone a present by zooming in on the adorable faces of the osplets.
There are several interesting things about these close ups. First, notice that the chicks still have remnants of their egg tooth remaining at the tip of their beak. Can you see the white dot? That will grow and wear off. Ospreys must keep their beaks clean and sharp! You can also see the dark charcoal down that is actually underneath the feathers. It remains while the white fluff disappears. I cannot see any quills but the feathers are growing out of quills that contain blood. Feathers have to have blood to grow. For those who have been reading my blog regularly, they will know that I have carried on and on about how to identify Little Bob. Because he is a third hatch Osprey, I have a special interest in him and his survival and future success so I have to be able to recognize him. So, I discovered that his cere, the part above the beak but before the feathers, has a lot of white. It looks like someone sloshed white paint. That white continues more under Little Bob’s eyes, too. Big Bad Bob has a smooth black cere with little white. As it happens, Big Bob and Little Bob hang out together. So on the left is Big Bob and on the right is Little Bob. Throughout the images below, Big Bob will remain on the left and Little Bob will be on the right. The portraits were snapped off the streaming cam every 5 seconds. There are subtle differences in their expressions.
Oh, just look at that face staring directly at us! So cute.
The angle of Little Bob’s head shows you all the white on the cere and under the eye. It is a degree more than the other chick.
Oh, how I wished Little Bob had looked up like Big Bob earlier.
They are adorable. Several of those will become fridge magnets. Awhile ago now, my ‘eagle expert’ that I consult with my questions, told me that they always make magnets out of their favourite juveniles for each year. I started doing it. It is a super way to wake up in the morning when you open the fridge and say hi to all of them!
There is the following thinking in raptor circles. The first theory is that two females never hang out together. Female raptors do not get along. There is the further belief, since medieval times, that the third, the tiercel, is always a male. Additionally, there is also a belief that the first hatch is a female. If all of those things are true, then Big Bob is a female and Little Bob is a male. In the end, of course, only DNA tests and an egg prove one way or the other. However, since these three will get satellite-paks and will be banded, I am assuming that they will also determine the gender just like was done with Solly and DEW last year. You do not want to band the chicks too early but, the rule is before they are 35 days old. After that, the stress and the approach by humans might force an early fledge. Any earlier and their legs would not be the size of an adult bird and the bands might prove to be problematic.
Tomorrow is the October Big Bird Day. You can help. All you need to do is look out your window for at least 15 minutes and count the birds that you know. You do not have to spend all day and you don’t have to travel if you don’t want to or can’t. Here is the information to sign up. The information helps track declining and increasing population numbers, locate migrate waves, check on how climate change is impacting the birds during migration, etc. Everyone can join in. It is free and it would be very helpful if you did a count. Go to this link for all the information that you need.
There is still only one hatch for Xavier and Diamond. And at 367 Collins Street, Mum finally let dad feed the kids.
It is easy to look at the scrape and think it is a mess. Falcon experts say that couples look for a scrape box where there is a lot of ‘ps’ markings everywhere as they know that means it is a prey rich area.
After Dad fed the little ones, Mum came in with a huge fresh pigeon and fed them again! No one goes hungry on a Peregrine Falcon scrape.
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the close ups of the Ospreys. I have to admit that out of all the birds of prey I am extremely partial to Ospreys, falcons, and hawks. Take care of yourself. Have a lovely weekend. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.