Monday, April 25, 2011

Eyasses' First Day

After the excitement of the first two eggs hatching, the formel sat quietly on the eyasses for a couple of hours.  When she finally stood up, we had our first glimpse of one of the chicks gazing out.

After inspecting her chicks, she dragged over one of the rat carcasses that the tiercel had brought to the nest....

.... and started to feed the eyasses.

The third egg sat right in the middle of the proceedings!

After she finished feeding the chicks, she had a rat snack herself.  We can rather graphically see the long tail and back legs of the rat lying on its back

The headless hawk!

There is also another dinner item on the rat's left.

The tiercel (dad) returned to the nest and formel flew off for a break from nest duties.  The tiercel is a  devoted father and settled in quickly over the eyasses.

When the formel returned, she wanted to get him up but he would not budge.  She headbutted him gently....

... then paced around while he studiously ignored her.

She finally was able to get him up and off the chicks.

She checked them out....

...then settled down on them.  At first, her wings are tightly furled against her back.

As she relaxes, her wings start to drop down to provide better coverage at the sides....

.... until she is fully relaxed.

It is always somewhat disconcerting when both haggards leave the nest unattended...

 ... but within a couple of minutes it is over and out for the eyasses as they sleep during their first Philadelphia afternoon.

Mom soon returns....

....settles in

.... and starts to preen her feathers.

By 4 PM, it's time to eat again, and the selection in the pantry is becoming more varied, thanks to the tiercel's excellent hunting skills.

Both chicks are strong and eager to eat, which they do voraciously.

These Easter Day chicks seem off to a great start.

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