Raptor Cam Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

Feeding and Cleaning During Incubation

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

Question: Paul and Darlene from Hillsboro ask, "Does one of the parent bring food to the primary incubator? And if so how do they dispose of the residue not eaten?"

Answer: Both parents will incubate the eggs although the female does the majority of the incubating. When the male occasionally comes in and switches places with her, it gives her an opportunity to go out and feed. Although you can't see in on Raptor Cam he is almost certainly bringing in food and caching (hiding) it nearby for her. During her limited breaks from incubation she will retrieve prey that has been cached by the male or go and hunt for herself.

Many raptors will not bring food into the nest area until the chicks hatch. This allows them to keep the nest cleaner. However last season we observed several occasions where this pair of hawks did in fact bring prey directly into the nest during incubation. They do clean the nest regularly removing debris with their beaks, rearranging the branches and sticks, and adding new nesting materials. The remnants of their meals (mostly pigeons) can often be found on the sidewalk below.

Print
Email
|