The falcon stored food again today. As mentioned a few days ago, she can sense when low pressure is on the horizon and plans ahead. As previously it was a couple of pigeons that were stored.
An adult peregrine needs to eat between 100-120g of food per day. Once you take off the parts not eaten/digested, this equates to around half a pigeon. So a pigeon caught today would last her until wednesday, except if the tiercel manages to steal some….. A starling ways up to 90g, one and a half is probably needed in a day. The tiercel fed on a starling today, I didn’t see him bring anything else in, so maybe he did help himself to some pigeon!
A peregrine can’t eat that much in one go, unlike something like a wolf which does not need to feed daily. This is one reason why food is stored, so that they can go back and finish prey later. Peregrines, like most birds have short intestines to keep down the weight of their digestive system. Flying animals need to be as light as possible, to remain airborne and to reduce to energy cost of flying. They therefore need to wait until enough of the food has passed through before eating more.
The falcon was again on the nest all morning, this may well have been due to the cold temperatures again last night. Overall the tiercels time at the eyrie has been reduced over the last couple of days, as discussed yesterday this may indicate the birds are approaching the final furlong of incubation.
Tom Wells – Peregrine Protection Officer