Posted by: grperegrines | 05/23/2018

5/23/18: Banding day plans

Banding of the peregrine falcon chicks in both the GVSU and Kent County Courthouse nest boxes is scheduled for tomorrow morning, Thursday, May 24.  The process should get started at GVSU about 10am and take about half an hour or so.  Then the DNR team will move to the courthouse to repeat the process.  I’ll post the band information as soon as I get it (sometimes takes a day or two), so we can tell the chicks apart.

Posted by: grperegrines | 05/18/2018

5/18/18: Chick confirmed in courthouse nest box

This morning I was able to see that at least one chick is alive and well in the nest box on the Kent County Courthouse.  It appears to be about the same age as those in the GVSU nest box.  Banding will probably take place next week for both sets of chicks.  I’ll post an update when I know an exact date and time.

Posted by: grperegrines | 05/07/2018

5/7/18: Kent County Courthouse nest update

This afternoon I found an adult in brooding position (upright, with wings out) in the nest box on KCC. The chicks were not visible, but are likely a few days younger than those in the GVSU box.
The second adult was on the Children’s Hospital elevator shaft again. I was able to see that this adult is banded, but it was too far away to see details. The plumage made me think of Art from previous seasons, but I’m pretty sure Art is the one we lost last year, so it will be exciting to see if we can get a read on the bands to ID this one.
What a milestone it would be for GR to have two successful nests this year!

Posted by: grperegrines | 05/02/2018

5/2/18: 2nd hatch – GVSU nest

The second chick hatched overnight and is looking healthy.  Check out the pictures posted on the Peregrine Falcon Southwest Michigan Facebook page.  You can find a link to that page in the list on the right hand side.

Now the real fun begins!

Posted by: grperegrines | 05/01/2018

5/1/18: First hatch – GVSU nest

first hatchling 2018At 12:04pm today, Mom stood up to reveal a very wet first chick.  The second egg appears intact, with no pips visible, so incubation will likely continue.

Posted by: grperegrines | 04/30/2018

4/30/18: Two active nests in Grand Rapids

This afternoon I finally checked on the Kent County Courthouse nest box.  An adult peregrine was doing some rearranging and/or egg rolling before settling down to incubate.  The second adult was keeping watch from the SW corner of the grey elevator shaft on the south side of Children’s Hospital.  It is likely that they laid their eggs after the GVSU pair laid their’s, but there really is no way to know until we see chicks.

As for the GVSU pair, I think it is very likely that the hatching process has begun.  The adults are not sitting down as far, and they are holding their wings slightly out from their bodies, which generally means brooding.  However, there were two intact eggs at my last view of them about 2pm this afternoon.  Remember that it can take a day for a chick to break out of the egg, so not to worry yet.

Posted by: grperegrines | 04/24/2018

4/24/18: Hatching in Kalamazoo

The peregrines in Kalamazoo have two little fluff balls and a pip in a third egg.  You can watch all the happenings on their live stream here.  Our eggs were laid about a week after the Kalamazoo pair, so we have at least a few days to go before we can expect signs of hatching.

You can also follow the news about the Kalamazoo nest and others in the area on the Peregrine Falcons Southwest Michigan Facebook page.

Posted by: grperegrines | 04/16/2018

4/16/18: Down to two

I was alerted by an email this morning that there were only two eggs in the GVSU nest box.  During a shift change just a few minutes ago I was finally able to confirm the bad news.  Somehow, in the last 10 days or so, two eggs were lost.  Like last year, there is no evidence of broken shells in the box, so it is impossible to know what happened.   Here’s hoping they have managed to keep the remaining eggs well sheltered from all this unseasonable cold weather.

I’d be interested to know when someone last saw 3 or 4 eggs.  You can email me or add a comment to this post.

Posted by: grperegrines | 04/04/2018

4/4/18: The Wait Continues

It seems that this year’s clutch in the GVSU nest box is complete with four eggs.  Full incubation likely began between eggs 3 and 4, as temperatures got back down near freezing.  If that estimate is accurate, hatching could begin as early as April 28, though May 1 is more likely.

In the meantime, enjoy watching the two adults take turns sitting on the eggs.  Look for patterns in their timing, they often develop a loose schedule.  And, if you are like me, you might find yourself yelling at the male to cover those eggs better.  His smaller size makes it tougher for him to get all four tucked in properly.  (Remember that the male has a clean white upper chest, while the female has spots all the way up her chest.)

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/28/2018

3/28/18: Egg #4 is here

Some time between 8am and 11am this morning, Majestic laid her fourth egg. (Many thanks, again, to Kathy from GVSU for her diligence!)  This is earlier than I expected, and is probably the last egg.  A fifth egg is possible, but not particularly likely.

At this point I would expect incubation to really get going.  The eggs may still be exposed, especially in warmer weather, but usually not for very long.  Once real incubation begins, it’s 32-35 days before hatching.  One result of not starting full incubation right away is that the eggs hatch closer together, generally within a day or two.  The male and female share incubation duties, though the female is generally there for longer.

I still haven’t gotten down for a look into the courthouse box, but I did see a falcon on the corner of the courthouse yesterday.  Considering it was raining at the time, it is possible there is an egg there, too.  If any one has seen falcon activity in that vicinity, please let me know!

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