Monday, April 07, 2008

Back in business...?!

Well, after a delay of 8 days Scout has produced egg #2! Or, is it egg #1 after re-cycling? I can't say for sure which category it would technically fall into without looking through reference material but the bottom line is another egg was laid Sunday, April 6 about 7:13 p.m!! And, as of this morning Scout appears to be in incubating posture. Only by observation will we be able to determine if true incubation has started. If she does stay tight on the eggs from this point on we'll have to wait for a mate change to note if any additional eggs appear in the coming days. I know a lot of anxious Falconcam Fans are breathing a sigh of relief with the latest turn of events that put things toward more "normal" behavior that we have been anticipating! Let's hope that nesting goes full steam ahead from this point! And, if we end up with a hatch next month, it will be interesting to note if that 1st egg hatches or not. If you look close there is a difference in pigmentation of the two eggs--the first egg is much lighter and duller in appearance.

I've gotten a lot of questions from fans who have heard a "3rd" falcon in the distance via the streaming video. First, I'd like to clarify that there is a delay between the nest box and the ledgecam videos. And there is a microphone at each location that sometimes picks up sound from the other end of the ledge. So, if you have both videos running at the same time it is possible to experience a repeat of sound between the two streams. Secondly, there may be a taped recording of raptor calls being played downtown by a nearby building in an effort to scare pigeons. The Statehouse was using this technique in past years. I have no direct knowledge of what building(s) may be using it now, but it is a definite possibility and we know from past experience that the recording has no effect on our resident peregrines.

Finally, prior to the 2nd egg there was speculation that the window washers caused the peregrines to change nesting locations. I can tell you from personal experience that these peregrines are very tolerant of human activity. The window washers are not a threat to the falcons as evidenced a few weeks ago when at least one of the pair sat on the ledge as the basket scaled the building. Many, many times I have been out on the ledge for nest box maintence purposes to have the birds sit at the other end and watch my actions. Finally, one floor up from the nest box is the roof of the Rhodes which regularly has any number of facility and security personnel out and about. The point is, these birds are quite aclimated to the people around them and with their bond to the site, it would take a lot to run them off. With the second egg now in the nest, this speculation is pretty much a moot point but I did want to address the concerns.