In the last two weeks, we have had some fun watching "our" peregrine family. It is hard to believe that the eyas is already two weeks old. It is amazing to see how fast they grow and change. In just two weeks, this little bird has acquired a second dense layer of down to keep himself warm. On warmer days, the parents are able to leave their little one alone a lot longer without it getting cold. On cooler days, the adults will still stay in the box and snuggling up with the eyas to keep it warm. Along with the layer of dense down, the eya is also growing in it's flight feathers. You can see straw like structures coming out of the tail and the wings with feathers starting to protrude from them. Already, this little bird is working on developing its muscles to fly. Just today we were able to watch the eya stand up and stretch its wings out.
This eyas seems to be more active at this age then previous eyases. Maybe this is because it does not have other siblings to lean on. Through our scopes we have seen it peak its head out of the box already. We have also watched it walk around the box, following mama as she walked around and pecked at stuff. At this age, the young birds are usually still huddling together in the box mostly but this one has no siblings to lean on so may be more adventurous.
All the while, papa has still been doing his job hunting a lot. We have spotted a couple of caches with prey in them that looked like they were not plucked and untouched. Today we were able to see papa chase after a very brave pigeon. This pigeon landed on the top of the building around 10 feet away from the nest and were he was perching. Papa immediately took off and flew after the bird. The pigeon reacted fast and took off over the parking ramp nearby with papa right on its tail. He was close to catching it but the pigeon dove down in between buildings and papa headed back to the Greysolon building. Part of me wonders if he was wasn't just having a little fun on a cool rainy day. If only we could really get into their heads.
The forecast looks like rain tomorrow and then we are off for two days. It will be exciting to see what has changed when we return to the park to observe them. I expect we will see the eyas continue to grow and see more of the flight feathers emerging. While he is working on growing, I am sure mama and papa will continue to put on a fun show. If you can, stop by and observe this falcon family with your own eyes. If not, stay tuned to read about what they are up to next.