Ready for takeoff
Just a few more days until the falcons take the big leap! Their first flight is imminent. Today they are 38 days old, just over 5 weeks. The right age to leave the nest.
They've been practising their wings for a few days now. They spend a lot of time between the pillars of the balcony where they observe the skies. Right and left, up and down ... nothing seems to escape them. Are they practising their eyesight or are they discovering a new horizon, without the constraints of their balcony which must seem as if it's getting smaller and smaller. They regularly perform a run which ends in a leap, as if they want to train their reflexes. All these exercises seem tiring for the chicks. After a few moments they fall asleep on the nest (see video "resting after sports").
The parents also feed their young less and less, which means the young falcons have to eat alone. This probably is a way to stimulate them to fledge and to lose weight. The weight and the length of the wings have to be in proportion for a succesful flight.
Don't worry if the falcons aren't visible on the screen from now on. Nowadays they often find themselves out of the camera's sight, even when we zoom out completely. They hide themselves under the platform of the nest or even at the foot of the camera! At night they always return to their nest, though, where they fall asleep huddled together. The female still watches them, either standing next to them or while watching them from the railing of the balcony.