By LIZ TOTH
July 1, 2018
The chicks are getting so big! They are now about 5 weeks old and could take their firsts flight this week or next. If you do not see them in the nest box it is because they have figured out how to move from the ledge of the nest box to the large roof area behind the nest box.
In this large space they can begin to stretch their wings in preparation for their first flights. This is also a good space to take practice hops and flap their wings to gain strength. The chicks do not have all of their flight feathers and the younger chick still has quite a bit of white downy feathers.
With the weather being so hot the roof provides a good breeze and also a three foot high wall around the roof to provide protection. Their parents are always close by watching for danger as the chicks prepare to take their first flights soon.
As of Wednesday they were still spending quite a bit of time in the box but were very close to the ledge:
The older chick, who is darker and has more adult feathers, seems to have led the two younger chicks around to the rooftop so you may see an empty box.
We are monitoring the chicks at the Liberty Savings Tower site even when they cannot be seen on the Falcon Cam to make sure they are doing OK and do not need any assistance.
In the image below you can see what the back of the nest box looks like and the pebbled roof with the wall around it where the chicks are spending a lot of their time.
Liz Toth is the Associate Curator of Live Animals at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.