The first two chicks hatched yesterday afternoon.When they first appear they looked pretty bedraggled (you would too if you had been living inside the liquid world of an egg for 5 weeks) but very quickly turned into little white fluff balls. They are covered in a layer of downy feathers that will provide them with some insulation but their primary source of warmth in their parents who will continue brood them for the next couple of weeks. Early on the brooding with be virtually continuous.
Some folks were concerned that the young were not fed immediately. This is to be expected. When we raise raptor chicks in captivity, we focus on hydrating the young rather than feeding them during the first day. It takes a little while for their bodies to adjust to being out of the egg. You will probably see a lot more feeding activity as the today progresses.
WATCH RAPTOR CAM LIVE: KGW-Audubon Raptor Cam
For those tuning into Raptor Cam for the first time, also check out our Facebook Page
Also check out the written by the Dusty Musicians who view raptor cam from Michigan (Raptor Cam now has a following that spans continents!) Raptor Cam Song
Finally for those interested in opportunities to learn more about Portland birds check out Audubon's page
Thanks as always to Frank and crew at KGW for the great camera work!
We have some great screen shots from Krista Bradford. I particularly like the one of dad bringing greenery to mom soon after the eggs hatched. The new greenery provides a clean substrate for the young and also has insecticidal properties, but I prefer Krista's analysis that he was simply bringing flowers!
Take a look at all the PHOTOS from Chick Hatching on 4/21 and a few samples below: