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2nd Egg Hatches & Feeding Behavior

Kaver Feeds 2 Eyases

Sometime early this morning a second egg hatched! Both eyases look healthy, and they’ve already begun eating. The picture above shows Kaver feeding the eyases at about 8:30AM today.

The eyases need to grow up very quickly. By the time they’re five days old their weight will have doubled. In only six weeks they’ll leave the nest box to take their first flights. By then they’ll be fully grown! That means between now and mid-June, they need to get a lot of food. Kaver will be busy bringing food these first few days. Mariah may leave the nest for short periods of time, but she’ll stay with the new eyases for most of the day. That leaves Kaver to do the majority of the hunting. He’ll need to feed himself and all the eyases, plus Mariah, but that shouldn’t be a problem for him. Kaver is a very good hunter and he’s had no trouble feeding five eyases in previous years.

Mariah and Kaver with 2 Eyases

During their early growth spurt the eyases will spend most of their time doing two things– eating and sleeping. When a parent comes into the nest box, the young falcons are likely to begin begging for food. They do this by raising their heads and vocalizing with open bills, just like in the picture above. If the parent has arrived with prey, it will hold down the food with its foot, rip off small pieces and drop them into the open bills of the hungry eyases. Sometimes both parents will feed the hatchlings together. Each eyas will continue to beg until it gets full. You’ll be able to see which eyases have had enough to eat because they store the food in their crops. A crop is a special pouch in the bird’s esophogus where the food is stored for digestion at a later time. The crop will bulge when it’s full, so it’s easy to see when an eyas has been fed. When each eyas has a full crop it will often lay down for a nap. The eyases that haven’t received enough food will continue to beg, so Mariah and Kaver will keep feeding the begging eyases until they’ve all gotten a meal. Watch for the eyases to get five, six or even more meals each day!

In between feedings, the eyases don’t move around too much. Don’t be surprised or alarmed if you see them all laying down with their wings spread out and not moving for long periods of time. It’s normal for these growing falcons to sleep much of the day away!


14 Responses to “2nd Egg Hatches & Feeding Behavior”

  1. Carol Says:

    I’ve been watching them all morning… Just waiting for the third to hatch now!! My cat was evening looking at the computer with me.. I don’t know if he was reacting to my excitement or if he was thinking ” LUNCH TIME!!”
    Thank you so much for the updates.. It has been a learning experiance!

  2. Margaret Says:

    Oh, this is wonderful and so informative! I can’t wait for the other 2.
    Thank you so, so much for all the updates.

  3. Audrey (UK) Says:

    I, too, am watching avidly for number three. I also have two cats that watch (on my knee). On some sites, if I have the sound on, they are definitely thinking ‘time for a snack’.

    Thanks once again Jess for a most informative board.

  4. Kathy Says:

    My students have just finished reading a book called ‘Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers’. We have been watching the web cam daily waiting for them to hatch, yesterday the kids were glued to the computer hoping for a glimpse, what an awesome learning experience for them! We will continue to monitor them until the end of the school year. Th

  5. Jessie Says:

    I’ve been watching Mariah & Kaver for a few years. They are awesome. They never cease to amaze me.
    I am also watching a young pair On top of San Jose City Hall in California. Jose Fernando & Clara have 3 eyases a little over a week old. They have a fantastic real time video cam that shows their every move. For a look: http://sanjose.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=91/nest

    Thanks Jess (we share the same name) for all the falcon info esp. on hatching, feeding & all!

  6. egon firl Says:

    bravo ,bravo Mariah and Kaver well done for 2007

  7. Marybeth S. Wilson Says:

    What a learning experience you provide us! As a retired teacher I find your website so exciting, informational and as close to the real thing as possible. I’ve been part of this annual birth process for 3 years now and each year is as exciting as the previous. Every elementary teacher and parent should be following this website and experience something that is so awesome! Thank you.

  8. Karyn Says:

    Great news. Jess…thanks again for the narratives and explanations.

  9. Sandy Says:

    Hi, I just found this wonderful web site about three weeks ago and I am guled to the computer screen as often as I can. Its so fantastic to watch the two of them sitting on the nest. Please tell me how to tell them apart. I don’t know when I’m watching which one is which.

  10. Carol Says:

    Sandy… the easiest way is Kaver has the darker head..Mariah has white above her beak… She is also much larger!! Hope that helps!!

  11. Dot Forrester Says:

    Jess, I just wanted to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying the Imprints section. Congratulations on doing such a nice job and keeping it up-to-date with all kinds of interesting information.

  12. Sandi Says:

    Busy watching this morning and between shots i see more egg shell pieces, wonder if this could be our third one ?

  13. Sandi Says:

    first look at third eyases.

  14. Carol L Says:

    I think we have number three!!! I see more shells!! YAHHHH
    Time to pass the chocolate icecream!!

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