Sunday, 27 October 2013

The secret life of Black Harriers: the first 2 weeks of life

This post follows the story of the Black Harriers of Baviaanskloof (the story of the nest discovery is here). Towards the end of September I installed a camera trap on the nest, on video mode. Unfortunately the memory card was full in 3 days, and so we missed the birth of the chick. The memory card was changed on the 19 October, when the chick (Prince Harry) was estimated to be about 7-10 days old. A week later we had the first images from the nest. Here are some highlights.

Prince Harry the baby Black Harrier, age 7-10 days. Two eggs remain to hatch.

Mom does some housekeeping. Prince Harry ventures to the edge of the nest.
"I got you under my wing" What a loving mommy she is.
Defensive mode: maybe a mongoose is passing the nest?

At night Prince Harry is hidden beneath mommy

Mom takes off

Prince Harry tries to follow. You need a few feathers first!
Dad takes off. The legs of the male are usually more orange compared to those of the female
Happy family reunited

a few days later.... Prince Harry shows off his emerging feathers

Paparazzi: Rob Simmons took this photo of me checking the camera


  1. would the two failed eggs be expected? Seems like a lot.

    1. The eggs are a bit of a mystery. 6 weeks ago there were 4. When I installed the camera 4 weeks ago there were only 2 (possible predation by a mongoose). One obviously hatched, but another has since been laid. We're hoping for a 'laat lammertjie' as we say in South Africa from this last egg, but it is not certain. The female does not seem to be incubating during the day. But I'm preparing another post now regarding a visit from Rob Simmons with more information on what he thinks.... so stay tuned.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...