Friday, April 13, 2007

More on the dead bird & other questions...

Incubation continutes with no problems. During the long stretch of days and weeks of watching a falcon keep its eggs warm, there isn't much action at the nest to post about. I do plan an update on Victory soon but in the meantime I've had a few questions from viewers that I thought would be good to share during this lull in the action.

First, more about the woodcock--it was wondered how far Orville would have to go to find a bird like that. Great question! Actually, (and surprising to many people) not far at all. The American woodcock and many other bird species will follow riparian areas during migration. So, with the river right downtown, the Columbus peregrines have access to a smorgesboard of bird species without too far to travel. Some of the bird species that I have documented as prey by the Columbus peregrines (based on remains at the nest) over the years include: mourning dove, chimney swift, Northern cardinal, American goldfinch, Baltimore oriole, & various woodpecker species. One year I even found a feather that likely came from an escaped parakeet!

More questions:
Q: Will the eggs change in appearance as it gets closer to hatching?
A: Not so much. The eggs may lighten in color slightly. Check out the 2006 photo highlights of hatching last year and you can see the egg shells are a little lighter shade than the eggs as they appear in the nest now.

Q: What happens to the egg shells after hatch?
A: Scout will actually eat some or all of the egg shells. This will help replenish calcium her body used to produce the eggs. Think of it as sort of like a vitamin/mineral supplement! Other shell fragments may just be cast aside or even removed from the nest by the adults.

Q: Are we going to have the live, streaming video this year?
A: Yes! We are in the final stages of preparation. In fact, we will be launching a new and improved website with the streaming video as a viewing option very soon. I can't say exactly when but I do know that our web consultants are working feverishly on it and we will bring it to you just as soon as it is ready to go!