The first day of our Fledge Watch was not without excitement. Max was the most adventurous of the four chicks – moving all the way out onto the east veranda twice during the course of the day. The last time he even took a nap there. Food was brought to the box today several times and just about every time it was stolen away by one nestling or the other. Interestingly, Ares actually brought two cuckoos to the nest today. Both were stolen away and both were pretty much abandoned in the box and not eaten. At one point Luna seemed to be using one as a pillow!
Astrid did ultimately conduct two proper feedings. The last one happened at around 6:30 PM, when she brought in a pigeon. As we’ve seen in previous seasons when fledging time is upon us, Astrid often brings a meal to the box and then flies away with it. She may do this a few times in a row. This is all done to coax the nestlings to fledge. We should be seeing a lot more of this behavior in coming days. A workman on the roof of the ADK Bank building at around 9:15 AM, got Astrid and Ares very upset. They gave cackle alarm calls and swooped around the building for about 15 minutes. The man went back inside quickly, but the falcons remained on alert.
Right on the heels of that, a flock of Turkey Vultures flying low through the canyon received a not so warm welcome from the falcons. Ares struck one of them at least twice. Later in the afternoon a similar encounter happened, but that time Astrid was the aggressor. The day ended with all the nestlings back in the box and A & A on nearby perches. Fledge Watch will resume on Tuesday morning. We hope to see some of you there!