Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Second clutch details

Here are some details concerning the possibility of a second nesting attempt at the Rhodes Tower. If Scout and Orville are going to produce another clutch we would expect it to happen within a couple of weeks.

Scout and Orville have not been seen around the nest box or ledge for several days now. This is normal behavior since the nest failed to hatch. Because they don't have eggs to incubate or chicks to feed, the falcons have shifted back to non-nesting activities of simply hunting, eating, sleeping, etc. and just general being around the downtown area away from view of the cameras.

If they are going to recycle, we should start seeing them again with some frequency and would also observe the usual courtship-type behavior that we see in February and March (for those of you in downtown Columbus you might see courtship flights; via the cam we would see scraping in the nest box and displays on the ledge). In Ohio, peregrine eggs have been laid as late as early June but Dave Scott (Peregrine Falcon Project Leader for the Ohio Division of Wildlife) predicts that if Scout doesn't produce any more eggs by the end of May, then it probably won't happen this year.

Another thing to consider would be if the birds decided to change nesting locations. Currently there are no other nest boxes in the downtown area that the Division of Wildlife has installed (the one at the Franklin County Building was removed a few years ago). But that doesn't mean the birds have to be loyal to the box at the Rhodes Tower. Luckily, most of the other buildings downtown aren't that hospitable to nesting falcons, however that doesn't mean they might not try. The LeVeque Tower, in particular, has ledge areas that could be appealing to a peregrine nest. There is a nest box at The James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University campus, however that is probably farther away than the downtown birds would go. So, I ask those of you who work or visit the downtown Columbus area, to please keep an eye out and email me privately any observations you make of the falcons for the next few weeks to assist me in monitoring this situation. Thanks for your help!