Author Topic: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Bula & Diamond  (Read 1027 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2016, 12:29 »
Update - October 11th

What I actually do and week old chicks

Iím still only up to last night, so I think I should explain what Iím actually doing.   Every action 24/7 and usually 52 weeks of the year (but with some gaps) is recorded in 1/2 minute intervals and is summarised hourly.  Categories include all the behaviours that you might expect such as incubation, feeding chicks, eating, interaction etc. with male, female and (eventually) juvenile behaviour recorded in separate columns.     And this is the fifth year.   I was hoping to compare the Swift/Beau pair (3 years) with Diamond/Bula (3 years, including 2017), but of course circumstances have intervened.    I also record all the prey items and store images of these and I have a huge collection of videos and stills of the prey (and of course of much of the other behaviour).   One prey item yesterday was probably a parrot by a glimpse of royal blue.

So those of you who were wondering if I needed to be sent images, notes etc. be assured that that is not necessary, though I appreciate your kind thoughts.  When one of the cameras was not linked to the recording software, I did have a problem for a week, but thatís now fixed.  The Milestone software allows me to skip periods of inactivity (but thereís not much of that at the moment!).

Iím going a bit more slowly this year, partly because so much has been happening, but also because Iím entering the hourly summaries into a spreadsheet as I go along.  In previous years, I didnít do this and so I now have a huge backlog to enter.   If anyone feels like helping out in this respect, let me know:).

So apologies if I canít give you instantaneous feedback, but at the moment Iím struggling to keep up.  I canít leave the recording of the data too long as it overwrites itself when the full.  And Iím away several days next week for meetings next week (Iím on the Executive of our state Nature Conservation Council, plus up to my ears in other conservation/landcare/music groups), so itís not going to get any better (but at least Scott will be back).  I have a major landcare-cum-music event to organise for Saturday, so itís a busy week and I do need to go home occasionally!

And you should be aware that the research, whilst approved by the CSU Animal Ethics committee, is virtually unfunded and both Scott and I volunteer our time, so Iíd like to thank you for your patience.

But everything is going really well with our new pair and their approximately week old chicks, eyes just starting to open.

Good good luck and good night.   We have someone coming tomorrow to do some recording, which will be interesting.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2016, 12:30 »
Update - October 12th

Relationship consummated ?

I couldnít see exactly because of the camera angle, but Xavier has certainly tried to mate with Diamond (and the Ďkicking episodeí was I think another aborted attempt) Ė in fact while she was covering the eyases.    This is unusual behaviour for our birds;  while the sulphur-crested cockatoos carry on as if the nest-box was a brothel, the falcons have always cemented their relationships outside (not in any demure way, I should add, as it often happens right on top of the water tower!).

Although Xavier hasnít brought much food into the box and when he does, he is a bit shy of handing it over, I think he is hunting and handing prey over outside and probably also using a cache as Diamond often comes back with prey dressed to eat in a time period that is not possible for her to have made the kill herself.   In fact Iíve seen her chase after X when he does a fly-past (probably with prey, but I couldnít see).

Iím not concerned about the naughtiness of Xavier in not handing over the prey.   That was common with other males, at least to start with and I think he is probably a first-time ďfatherĒ.  I donít know if behaviour is different from actual fathersÖsomething Iíll look into when I get time, but I do think they have to learn how to raise chicks and Diamond appears to be happy to teach him.

Prey has been difficult to identify due to it generally being well plucked and dismembered, but there have definitely been pigeons, starlings and rosellas (I think this is probably a crimson rosella), all good sized birds and Iíve noticed that Diamond is usually careful to see that all three chicks get a feed.

And yes we probably should start thinking about names.  I was reluctant before as I wasnít confident of any chicks surviving, but Iím feeling better about this now.   What about naming them for local eucalypt species where they roost?   dives,(pronounced: DIVE-es),  melliodora, viminalis, bridgesiana, rubida, mannifera, blakelyi (perhaps suitably abbreviated:  dive, mell, vim, bridge, roob, manni, blake).   Of course, they are pretty difficult to sex or tell apart until they are a few weeks old, but one can try!

Put a post up with your three favourites and Iíll do a quick poll!

Iím busy with preparing our site for tree-planting and propagation Thursday and Friday, and the day itself is on Saturday, but will keep an eye on things and will come in on Sunday to try and catch up.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2016, 12:31 »
Update - October 13th

Xavier goes fishing and has abrupt exit

Xavier has brought in a water bird chick;  not sure of the species Ė possibly a young coot or duckling Ė suggestions welcome; Iíl keep searching as it is a very interesting catch Ė obviously way too young to be flying, but presumably it wasnít caught actually on the water, so perhaps on or near nest or nearby land.

As you are much quicker than me, youíve probably already you-tubed this, but never mind.  Iíll have a look at your comments later.

Iím a little bit worried about the length of time the nest is being left empty.  Iím sure that is quite unusual.  I can only assume that Xavier is not really pulling his weight yet and Diamond is still doing quite a bit of the hunting.   I hope that he gets his act together before the birds get much bigger (and hungrier).

Iím getting behind again and wonít be able to update tomorrow or Saturday, but will try and catch up on Sunday.   Goodnight!

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2016, 12:32 »
Update - October 15th

Who is this thief

Iíve just got in from our tree-planting and notice a bird pinching a small lump of prey from a very relaxed Diamond, who was feeding her chicks, but this didnít look like Xavier, or even like a male, unless my eyes are starting to play up, as he/she seems to be the same size.

This was actually on Thursday 13th at 1632 ish.    Now Xavier is taller than Bula, I admit, but this does seem to be a big bird.  When it was sitting on the ledge, I was sure it was a female!    Pity the light inside the box is so bad.   But I canít believe she would let a strange bird near her chicks, so I must be wrong. And seems typical of X.

Did anyone else notice anything odd?

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 12:33 »
October 16 Update

Almost two weeks old

 

Chicks are starting to sprout up and venture out, even approaching their step-dad in a vain quest for food!

Preys have been quite regular; well-sized; difficult to identify, but have included starlings, pigeons and parrots, including a galah, which took nearly half an hour to finish off!  It took me ages to work out one bird, which I finally nailed as an eastern rosella after spying a tiny glimpse of a green, then yellowish feather, which narrows it down.

Most parents stash the prey when they have an abundance, but Iíve noticed that Diamond doesnít usually do thisÖ.probably with good reason due to our Xavierís tendency to pinch food.  And itís occurred to me that he perhaps is Ďhandingí over most of his prey and is consequently quite hungry.  Itís quite a job to fledge three chicks, especially under these difficult circumstances, so I think they are doing pretty well.  And Iíve also noticed that Xavier is getting better at his duties: although he hasnít had much interaction with the chicks yet, his guarding duties have been much more extended.

Diamond is starting to interact more with the chicks, apart from just keeping them warm and feeding them.   Sheís also spending most of the night either standing close to the chicks on even on the ledge, and much less time actually covering them.

I have to go to Sydney tomorrow, with no access to the software, so Iíll sign off for a couple of days.  Scott should be back today from NZ, so Iíll leave you in his tender care.   Happy watching.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2016, 12:37 »
Just a note, I have not included all the photos in Cilla Kinross' posts
If you want to check them out, here's the link - http://www.falconcamproject.org/

Offline Alison

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Bula & Diamond
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2016, 20:52 »
All three chicks have now fledged. The first to fledge was one of the girls, Rubi. Second was the little male, Vim. And the last to go was the other girl, Mell. Immediately thereafter, the site was taken down for maintenance.

It has been difficult to follow the cams this year, since the site is way overloaded with traffic and the cams very rarely load. When they do, they are either already frozen or run for about 2 - 4 seconds before freezing again.

The cams are now back online.

Here is Diamond this morning; she had spent the night at the nest.


« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 21:02 by Alison »

Offline Alison

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2016 / Bula & Diamond
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2016, 21:17 »
When I checked the site a little while ago, I found one of the juvies in the nest, with a full crop. Poor Galah.

As I am posting this, the juvie is still in the nest.

 

 

Photobucket has been down pretty much all month so far, so posting pics is not easy right now. The site I am using in the meantime will not allow me to post two pics side by side.