Three Chicks Have Hatched!
Falcon followers checking the livestream this morning (May 5) will be happy to know that there are three newly hatched chicks in the Richmond nest! We got our first good look at the chicks early this morning around 6 a.m., when at the time, only two had hatched. Based on the fluffy, dried appearance of their down (a layer of insulating feathers), we estimate that these two chicks hatched sometime overnight.
As the peregrine falcons faded from camera view while the sky went dark on the night of May 4, the last glimpse of the nest at 11 p.m. showed the female falcon sitting on four eggs. Pips had been spotted on two of those eggs.
When the morning sun brought the nest box back into view at 5:47 a.m., a DWR biologist spotted a hatched chick. During an incubation/brooding exchange at 5:59 a.m., when the male arrived to take over incubation duties from the female, the biologist noted that the two remaining eggs were unhatched at that point.
At 6:37 a.m., a newly hatched third chick was seen when the adult falcon stood to inspect the chick. Unlike the other two chicks which hatched hours before, newly hatched chicks have lots of pink skin exposed. Once the newly hatched chick’s down feathers dry, it will be indistinguishable in its appearance from its two siblings.
Newly hatched falcons weigh approximately 30–40 grams (1.25 ounces) when they first hatch and are unable to fully thermoregulate (maintain core body temperature) for the first two weeks of life. This means the male and female will continue to spend time on the nest “brooding” the chicks after they hatch and incubating the remaining egg.