Outdoor Ontario

Discussion => Behaviour => Topic started by: Dinusaur on July 07, 2019, 06:50:19 pm

Title: New meaning to the phrase 'Bird Brain'.
Post by: Dinusaur on July 07, 2019, 06:50:19 pm
This summer I have spent considerable amount of time over the week-ends near Burlington Lift Bridge to observe and photograph a family of Peregrines. Besides two adults there were three chicks in that nest. All three have successfully fledged and as far as I can tell they are doing well. The juveniles are on their way to independence and is hard to find all three at the same location. They still depend on their parents for food. This morning I observed an interesting skill of the adult male. When a juvenile came flying begging for food, he took off from his perch and went to look for food. Interestingly food is right under their feet. The Burlington Lift Bridge, where these Peregrines hang around, hosts multitude of pigeon nests in the cavities of the frames. The same goes with the nearby Skybridge. The adult male was seen systematically searching for pigeon squab in these cavities by flying in and out. Soon he found one nest with chicks in it, grabbed one chick and flew away. What an easy meal. What impressed me most was his methodical approach in the whole affair.

After eating part of the prey, the male returned to where the juvenile was sitting and did a mid-air transfer of the half eaten pigeon chick to the juvenile. Given their natural hunting habit of pursuing a prey in flight, this newly acquired skill of searching for food in nest cavities is definitely put this Peregrine in a class of its own. The urbanized Peregrines are developing new skills for survival for sure. Interestingly the adult female hasn't learnt this particular skill set and still prefers capturing a pigeon in flight. She is very successful at that. Unlike the nest invasion, catching a prey in flight requires a lot of energy. It was interesting to see the fastest animal in the world is resorting to thievery. Here are some photos of the  steal and subsequent food transfer between the adult male and one of the juveniles.

1. Systematic search of nest cavities:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225954682_89e4438d06_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyCah)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225950187_f5e8ae3ed9_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyAPM)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225887916_8bb2e5d0f4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyhj9)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225944972_6b677a4532_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyzgS)

2. Flying away capturing a chick from one of the nest cavities.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225881676_a4a88cb15f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyfsy)

3. Transfer of food between the adult and the juvenile.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225878056_c28712ae50_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtyeo9)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225936327_febb778eab_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtywGP)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225934922_90b1f6df49_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtywhA)
Title: Re: New meaning to the phrase 'Bird Brain'.
Post by: Ally on July 07, 2019, 07:00:23 pm
Wow, although I wished I could see that myself, but your photos might have captured the best of the event. (I would be 'too busy' if I were there :lol:  :lol: and miss a lot)and the narration made the whole thing that much more interesting!!