15 September 2021
Business (not quite) as usual!
Since all three chicks left the nest four days ago, they have been huddling together beneath the box and only emerging once it almost fully dark. The parents have been observing proceedings from their roosts in trees on either side of the building and have been responding rapidly to any intrusions at the nest by the crows or other threats.
On Sunday evening, the female was dozing on the lower roof when the male called briefly and then landed on the roof next to her. This was the first time I’d seen them together for several weeks – other than during food transfers, or when they were both defending the chicks at the nest. After sitting companionably about a meter apart for a few minutes, the male strode up to the female, mounted her and mated with her – something I’ve never seen before at this point in the nesting cycle.? Pair-bonding.!!!!
Last night I waited up on the ladder till the chicks emerged and was finally able to record the development of the chicks . . . and then this morning, all three chicks were back in the nest box.
By Geoff Lockwood