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April 25, 2010 Update: Red-tails, Peregrines and Coyotes

by Bob Sallinger


Posted on April 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:47 AM

The nestlings are now about 11 days old and about a quarter of the way towards taking their first flights. They are beginning to appear darker as their body feathers and fight feathers begin to emerge from under the down.

Daytime brooding by the parents will reduce significantly over the next week so expect to see more extended periods where the young are exposed.  They have a thick layer of down and their emerging body feathers to keep them warm.

LATEST PHOTOS: Nestlings growing fast, 4/26

Pretty soon we should be able to tell which nestlings are males and which are females---the females are larger than the males and the size differential begins to become visibly apparent as they head into their third week.  

Notice also all the new greenery in the nest--mom and dad have obviously been redecorating (although alas the plastic bag does remain).  As per prior blogs, the greenery helps give the nestlings a clean surface but also has insecticidal properties which reduces bugs and mites in the nest.



For those interested in learning more about our local urban wildlife populations, there are a couple of great opportunities coming up in the next few weeks:

First, this coming Tuesday night  at 7:00 pm at the Oregon Zoo, Dr Stan Gehrt will be giving a talk on urban coyotes. Dr. Gehrt spent six years tracking more than 200 coyotes in the City of Chicago in what has been described as the "most ambitious study of its kind" ever undertaken. He is an amazing speaker with great stories about how coyotes have been able to establish themselves even on the most urban of landscapes.

Second, each Saturday between now and the end of May from 1-3, Audubon will be conducting its Peregrine Watch Program. We will have volunteers with spotting scopes and binoculars on the Eastside Esplanade behind OMSI to show people the peregrine falcons that are nesting on the Marquam Bridge. Peregrines are the fastest bird in the word diving at speeds of over 200 MPH. I was out there yesterday and through the scope we could see mom sitting on eggs. We were also treated to a spectacular view of the male diving on and chasing Canada Geese. Peregrine Watch is free--you can stop by anytime between 1-3 and stay as long as you like.


Dr Stan Gerht With Coyote Pup