Subject: WAMU Peregrine Family Update, 5/6/95
Date: May 6 21:20:35 1995
From: Ellen Blackstone - vaccine at

(First, THANKS to Anna Coles, for her great observations on Friday, 5/5,
7:44PM. Everybody should get down to the monitor, 1201-3rd Ave, and
actually see these birds in action!)
A brief update of the Peregrine family to date: First egg hatched about
2:30AM on Tuesday, 5/2; next one at about 8:45AM; last one, about 8:45PM
that night. Unusual, perhaps, to have them all hatch so close together,
but the eggs were laid on an unusual schedule, too. (See earlier
messages.) These chicks, or eyasses, --tiny fuzz-balls that they
are--should fledge 6 weeks after hatching, in mid-June. //No idea yet
about whether the chicks are male or female. Adult females are about 1/3
larger than the males, and that becomes obvious as the chicks/eyasses grow.

The female, Bell(e), is the primary feeder now. Stewart hunts a lot, and
brings prey to the nestbox ledge, or does a prey transfer to Bell(e) who
then brings the catch to the nestbox. Both adults also bring cached-prey
to the nestbox.... but, again, Bell(e) usually feeds the chicks. //A note
here: this behavior is very similar to the action last year, when
Virginia (the female/mother of the '94 Peregrine family) repeatedly
forced Stewart, the male, away from the nestbox, insisting on feeding the
eyasses herself. Bell(e) seems to be doing the same thing.... feeding the
chicks herself, either with prey that Stewart has brought or with
cached-prey that she brings in.
Observers who were at the monitor at WAMU this afternoon got a double
treat! At about 1:20PM, Bell(e), on the nestbox, *cakked* (vocalized) at
something off the screen-monitor.... Observers on the street saw an
Osprey, winging its way across Downtown Seattle! At about 1:30PM, Bell(e)
vocalized again, and observers on the street were treated to an aerial
acrobatic display... Stewart flew up to the building! (He didn't fly up
to the nestbox, alas.) Still, observers at the monitor were entertained
by a Falcon Research Group representative, there to answer questions.
These chicks/eyasses have the chance to be very-well-fed, indeed. They
may face other difficulties.... mirror-windows, etc. .... but they will
not be malnourished. Bell(e) is still learning how to feed them.... small
pieces, in their open beaks,... but she is learning quickly. Their tiny,
wailing cries, barely audible on the monitor, will soon become
squaawking! Veteran Peregrine observers say that, by the time the chicks
get nearly big enough to fly, the parents just fly by and TOSS the prey
at the chicks! We're not there yet, but let's watch and see what happens.
So check out the birds at the WAMU monitor, and see what happens. Again,
the birds should fledge-- seems amazing!--about mid-June.

And how the birds got named, Anna?... They got named, almost
accidentally, for Seattle streets. Virginia and Stewart work OK. The last
surviving Peregrine from the '94 family is the young female, Olive;(last
seen in August '94; no news is good news.) Bell(e), first spotted in
August 1994, was also named for a Seattle street, Bell; some feminize the
name to Belle/others struggle with Bell(e).
And yes, Stuart MacKay, these birds WILL be banded before they fledge.
Peregrines don't seem to be too *fussed* by this attention. The
contribution to science and the understanding of this species is not to
be missed.
Main message here: Get down to see these neat birds at the WAMU Tower,
1201 3rd Avenue; monitor is on 24 hours a day. You're sure to see SOMEthing!
Call the Peregrine Hotline, 517-7363, for more information.

Ellen Blackstone \HIV vaccine research by trade
8203 - 38th NE \Nature-lover for fun
Seattle, WA 98115
Day:206/621-4179 \\Aldo Leopold said: The first rule of tinkering
Eve:206/522-8099 is to save all the parts.