Tag, You’re It!

Mini post alert!

I’m very pleased to report that there was a recent video of two of the Great Spirit Bluff falcon babies playing tag near the nest box. For those of you that might recall, one of the babies, Christine, made a rather frightening exit from the nest box causing speculation that perhaps she didn’t properly fledge. I’m happy to say that this video proves she made it, and that her and her sister Maggie are still both doing quite well.

A video of Michelle and Travis’ courtship from this season, before any eggs had been laid.

Missing Baby Falcon

I was greatly saddened to learn that one of the baby falcons of Great Spirit Bluff is missing. I had hoped to get the chance to see all three of these beautiful baby falcons grow up and successfully fledge but that unfortunately will not be the case. The Raptor Resource Project does not know for sure what happened to cause one of the babies to go missing. Speculation includes the possibility of predation by another bird, or perhaps that the baby simply tumbled from the nest box. I believe they are looking to see if they can determine the exact cause of the accident. No matter how the accident happened it is a very sad thing to lose one of these precious little fluff balls.

The remaining two falcon sisters are still growing at a brisk pace. Already both are exhibiting full tail and flight feathers. There is still ample baby fluff mixed in with the newly emerging adult plumage though resulting in a fabulously mottled look. I just watched a feeding and holy wow do they vocalize like crazy. I had to turn the volume way, way down on my computer. Speculation in chat mentioned that feeding times produce aggressive behavior. Could the baby possibly have been jostling with a sibling over food and then fallen when things got a little out of hand?

Feathers vs. Fluff – Growing Up Bird

I’ve been otherwise occupied the last few days so haven’t been checking in with my favorite falcons as much as I normally would have been. It is absolutely amazing  how fast they are growing up, especially compared to the eagle babies in the Decorah nest. The falcon babies should be fledging approximately five weeks from when they hatched. This could mean that I may be suffering doubly from empty-nest syndrome as both the falcons and eagles end up leaving the nest around the same time. 😦 Not looking forward to that at all.

The baby falcons were banded on May 27th and apparently all are little girls. The three little girls were named as part of the banding promotion. Their names are: Christine, Cassie and Maggie. For some reason I find the fact that they are all female highly entertaining. Maybe it’s because of  their epic mastery of the slouch position?  How amazing would it have been to participate in the banding, or any banding really. Someday I would love to do that, weather it be for falcons, eagles or any other birds of prey.

Already the babies are all beginning to get in their adult feathers in the form of teeny flight feathers and around their eyes. Such a contrast to their white baby fluff that still predominates over most of their bodies.

 I think that they would translate into amazing plushies, lol. 😀 So fluffy!