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April 23, 2011: Welcome to the Planet; Have A Little Rat

by Bob Sallinger


Posted on April 23, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 9:23 PM

Frank and crew caught some great footage yesterday of the two chicks being fed a meal of delectable rat. Red-tails will eat a wide variety of prey including rodents, birds, reptiles and amphibians, even insects. We have had very under-nourished red-tails come into Audubon's wildlife hospital that had been consuming fish even though fish are outside their normal diets. Rats and pigeons seem to make up the bulk of our Raptor Cam red-tails diet. The video shows mom tearing off tiny pieces of rat meat and gently placing the meat into the day old chicks beaks. The young are already holding their heads-up trying to get fed. At this age the young can barely see and you can watch mom trying to aim for their tiny beaks as their heads wobble about. I thought it was kind of funny that the feeding video is preceded by an advertisement for cupcakes.

Video of day old chicks being fed rat


Folks are curious about when the other two eggs will hatch. As far as I could tell this morning there are still two unhatched eggs, but feel free to write in and let me know if you are seeing additional hatching. It is possible that there could be several days between hatching of the eggs. It is also possible that not all the eggs will hatch. We will just have to wait and see. In 2009 only two out of three eggs hatched.

Make sure to turn up the sound when you are watching raptor cam. You will quickly be able to hear the chicks begging for food. Also note how fast the chicks grow---these birds are going to be flying in only a matter of weeks! It only takes about 45 days. That means that they are going to go

From this....                              To this, in only about six weeks!