This just in from the Peregrine fund…
2016 FalconCam Update 4/11/16
Welcome to the 2016 FalconCam season! This is the eighth year a webcam has provided you with a front-row seat for watching the daily activities at a nest box in downtown Boise.
The female Peregrine Falcon is already incubating eggs, and we’re all eager to get a glimpse to see how many have already been laid. Peregrine Falcon eggs are typically incubated for an average of 34 days before hatching which means our first chicks should make an appearance at the beginning of May.
The Peregrine Fund was instrumental in the recovery of Peregrine Falcons in the United States and our work led to them being removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List in 1999. It is particularly neat to get to watch a pair doing so well right in downtown Boise!
We would like to thank our FalconCam partners Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe Data Centers for their support in monitoring the birds and for providing live streaming video. We hope you enjoy watching the Boise Falcon Family grow!
Rather cold this morning at 9:00 – 29 degrees. But the Eagles were flying. The fish were active and other predators were around. Namely hawks. It was snowing lightly, but the activity along the Boise River was good. There was a report that there were several Eagles and yearlings further downstream from where I was. Robin was waiting in the car, hungry and cold. Best not follow up on that observation. I saw 2 adults and two yearlings, but only got to photograph the adults. Here’s what I saw. Keep Looking up! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.
Last night at about 7:20pm, our neighbor Becca called and said that she was out in her backyard, went inside for something and returned to her back yard. She said that “…this bird” was where she was working and that it had not been there before. She brought it to me.
I believe it is a Coopers Hawk. We have had one, or several, in the neighborhood for several years now. I hope this is not one of them. There are no visible trauma marks on the hawk and no signs of anything broken. Here are some post-mortem photos of the hawk. Left-Click to see a larger view. If someone from the Idaho Fish and Game, The Peregrine Fund or The Idaho Bird Observatory would like to have it or examine it, I will keep it for a short time. Please contact me.
Can’t say that it has been exciting watching the falcons from the camera in the box. Generally, they are not there but rather probably on the ledge somewhere and out of camera sight. As of 1635 this afternoon, I have heard of no “incidents” with the falcons. Although, Robin and I did see people on the roof of the Cap One Center and the adults were not happy! The chicks were probably below the “intruders” on the ledge. The people knew that the Peregrines were there – I think they were dived on. Here is what Robin and I saw. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up!
Oh my, how these “guys” have grown! Actually, 3 females and 1 male. If I were to guess, I would say that the last one to hatch is the male. It just looks smaller, even at this stage in their development. The Peregrine Fund put a great post on the falconcam site about their development and activities at this age. Interesting.
You may be noticing that the chicks are becoming much more active now that they’re a bit older and are actually jumping out onto the ledge on occassion. They do eventually jump back into the nest, but this is a normal part of development for nestlings. Soon, they will enter a stage of life where they’re referred to as “branchers.” During this stage, chicks will spend more time out of the nest and flapping their wings. This helps to build muscle so that their breast muscles are ready to support their wings in the air when they take their first flights.”
Enjoy these screen shots from this morning! Keep Looking Up!
I received word this week from the Peregrine Fund that the Boise falcon chicks were checked medically – they passed with flying colors – and they were banded. There was no word on the probable sex of each bird. Here is the complete text of the notification from the Peregrine Fund. Keep Looking Up and Left-Click any of these screen shots to see them enlarged.
“The Peregrine Fund chicks are sporting new jewelry today after having been banded by biologists from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game this morning. In addition to banding the chicks, wing and leg measurements were taken, and health was observed. All four falcon chicks appeared to be healthy and thriving, and the data collected will help researchers to continue monitoring the condition of the Peregrine Falcon population within our region.”
“Did you know that the earliest recorded use of “bird bands” was made around 218-201 B.C. when a thread was tied to a crow’s leg to send messages between Roman officers during the Punic Wars? Since that time, the technology of banding birds has improved greatly. Bands are now often made of aluminum or another lightweight material imprinted with a series of unique numbers to help identify the bird, and people who band birds are required to obtain a special banding permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fact, scientists rely on banding for data collection so much that in 1909 the American Bird Banding Association was formed to organize and assist the growing number of bird banders throughout North America.”
“So the next time you are watching the FalconCam, make sure to keep an eye out for the chick’s shiny new bands!”
It is great to see that the Peregrine Fund’s Falconcam has been selected as a Nest Cam of the Month: Peregrine Falcons by the Nature Conservancy. The link will take you to the article and explain a little about the Peregrine program and the history of the falcons. Interesting information. Be sure to read the comments, too. Keep Looking Up!