Monday, March 31, 2008

1st egg for 2008!

Scout's first egg for the 2008 nesting season was laid about 9:49 a.m., Saturday, March 29th. Eggs are laid every 2-3 days and are slightly smaller than a chicken egg, mottled with a dark, reddish-brown pigment. Peregrines generally lay a total of 4 eggs. Scout won't actually begin to incubate them until most of the clutch is laid. In the meantime, it won't hurt the first egg(s) if the adult isn't keeping it warm-it simply won't begin to develop yet.

A second egg is expected sometime Monday or Tuesday.

Again, the problems with the live streaming are beyond the control of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. We're working to get the stream restored as soon as possible.

Friday, March 28, 2008

No eggs yet

As many of you already know, the nestbox streaming video is down this morning. Unfortunately, again this time the problem is with an outside partner and beyond the control of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Our folks are working with the other organization to get the issue corrected just as fast as possible. The still images are up and refreshing every 15 seconds.No eggs yet and many Falconcam fans are getting anxious but there is PLENTY of time! It is still VERY EARLY in the nesting season: this week's statewide update indicated 24 pairs of peregrines around Ohio but so far only 5 (~20%) have produced eggs. Scout definitely is on a different schedule from her 1st attempt at nesting in 2007. Last year her eggs were early but infertile--let's hope that what we interpret as a "delay" in egg laying is really just her reproductive system maturing and this year we'll have viable eggs, even if we have to wait a little longer for them. I'll be out of the office this afternoon--hopefully I'll have egg news to report on Monday morning!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lots going on today...

While we still wait for eggs there's been other things to watch! First, "breakfast" this morning was a killdeer - a type of shorebird common in Ohio.
Next, about 11:40 window washers made a pass near the nest. I missed the action myself, but have been told that at least one of the falcons sat patiently as the workers went by. I wonder if the window washers realize that they were on camera and anything they said potentially could be broadcast across the Internet?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Where are the eggs?

Well, I'm sure everyone is wondering like I am why hasn't Scout laid an egg yet? I have no good answer for this question other than it depends completely on her hormone levels and she'll lay the first egg when it's time! In the meantime, don't worry that she has a nest started somewhere else. While we can't guarantee 100% that she'll nest at the Rhodes State Office Tower, the peregrines are fairly predictable. No other place in downtown Columbus provides the same ammenities as the nest box on the Rhodes Tower does. And with the amount of time the birds are spending right at the nest ledge and inside the nest box it is very, very probable that this is their chosen location. The "drama" is definitely keeping everyone in suspense though! One further note: Orville is taking care of his part of deal... ;-) (thanks to Mary Anne and Mary K. for saving and sharing this photo of the two mating)

As all are aware the nestbox streaming video has been down today. Unfortunately, the problem is with an outside partner and beyond the control of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Our folks are working with the other organization to get the issue corrected just as fast as possible. We sincerely regret the inconvenience. Please know that many staffers within the Division are big fans also and we are anxiously waiting and watching and disappointed when part of the view is not available the same as everyone out there is!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Still waiting...

Well, we're back to the work week and surprisingly, no eggs yet! Nothing to do but continue to watch and wait! Ahhh...the suspense!

Friday, March 21, 2008

False alarm on the egg front!

The opportunity of having streaming video is quite exciting for recreational viewing, but it is also a valuable tool from a species management perspective. There is a lot to learn about what these birds do and a window to their world shows us much we otherwise wouldn't see. Not many have witnessed a wild bird laying an egg, much less a peregrine falcon. Despite the lack of experience, we (and I include myself in this!) may think we know what to look for--but do we? Earlier this morning Scout was standing in the scrape. Her posture was unusually slouched over and her eyes were going half closed. (I've seen her sleep in the nest box before and this was definitely different.) Every so often she'd look down at her feet and vocalize. I thought that she might be in the process of laying an egg and I was capturing the whole process on video! I just knew that luck would have it that her first egg would "conveniently" arrive during normal business hours and I'd be able to make sure our "Latest Happenings" link would be up to date for the weekend! But unfortuntely, after about 15 minutes she left the nest box=false alarm! Check out the March 2007 archives for a video clip of Scout laying the first egg last year.

Will the first egg for this season appear over the weekend? Definitely possible! Unfortunately, I do not have Internet access away from my office, so this is my last update for this week. Unlike many of you, I won't even know what's going on until I'm back in my office first thing on Monday. The next update will be posted as soon as I am able. Here's hoping for the official start of falcon nesting season in Columbus soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Orville in the scrape

Sorry that the live streaming has been unavailable today. We'll get it working as soon as possible. In the meantime, here is a video clip of Orville scraping in the nest that I saved on 3/18/08.
Egg laying has started in Cleves and Cleveland. Our website is in the process of being updated with all of the 2008 info. When will we see the first egg in Columbus? It's up to Scout at this point!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When can we expect eggs?

For now the falconcams (still photos and live streaming) are operational again! We are still working on some system tweaks so hopefully future outages--if they occur--will be kept to a minimum.

Peregrine season will be under way any day in Ohio. I haven't heard an official report yet for this year (statewide updates should start on the Division of Wildlife's website soon), but looking back at last year the first egg for the season was laid at the Cleves site on 3/7/07. Scout produced her first egg on 3/24/07. Generally, as the female matures, eggs can be produced a little earlier in subsequent years. So, I wouldn't be surprised if Scout starts a few days sooner this year. Here's a picture saved from the major snow storm that hit Columbus over the weekend. The camera is about 6 inches above the ledge. At one point the entire view was obscured by snow. But as you can see from checking the cams this week, the southern exposure of the ledge made quick work of the snow!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nestbox still photos back up

The nestbox still photos are back up, however, the picture is blue. We're not sure what's causing this, but the problem is probably related to the same issue that was giving us a pink picture as discussed in my Jan 23 post. We hope to get the camera reset in the next day or two which should restore the picture to the proper color. The ledgecam live streaming is operational and we hope to have the nestbox live stream back up soon also. Thanks for your patience!!