Friday, March 26, 2010

Name Survey Launched!

The survey to submit your choice of name for the new male peregrine at the Rhodes State Office Tower is now live!

A couple of guidelines to know:
1) names that have already been used for young hatched in Columbus are not eligible
2) the names Aurora, Bandit, Victory and Orville are also not eligible
3) non-human and gender-neutral name suggestions are preferred
4) submit one name per entry only and provide the contact info requested
5) submissions without contact information will not qualify
6) survey will be active until midnight April 1, after which the ODNR, Division of Wildlife will narrow the choices submitted. The winning name will be determined through public vote via a online poll beginning on or about April 5th.
7) the person submitting the winning name will receive a token of appreciation from the Division of Wildlife
8) if more than one person submits the name that is ultimately chosen, one person will be selected at random to receive the prize.

Thanks for your interest! Click here to goto the survey.
The survey can also be accessed from the home page of the ODNR, Division of Wildlife's website:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mating and a Name for the Newbie

Courtship is progressing and all looks normal at the nest. This morning mating was observed on the ledge at approximately 8:25 a.m. Scout is often seen with prey, no doubt caught by the newbie male and presented to her as part of the bonding process. Scout continues to work on the scrape in the nestbox which is another form of pair bonding and helps to integrate the pair.

Off-camera the two are probably also engaging in cooperative hunting and flight displays. So, anyone that can spend some time downtown would likely see this additional element of the birds' lives that the cameras don't show. All of the courtship and mating behaviors are a definite great sign for a productive nesting season but given all of the processes involved, it usually takes a couple of weeks for the female to cycle and produce eggs.

While we wait for eggs, we've decided to allow the fans to pick a name for the new male! As many folks out there know, the names for the nestling falcons at the Columbus nest are chosen through a contest held by a local school. And most times, a new adult falcon coming into a territory is usually already banded and named, so our general pool of fans out there doesn't have too many opportunities to help name a peregrine in Columbus. This year will be your chance! In the very near future we will launch a survey whereby anyone can submit their choice for a name for the new male. The survey will be up for several days, after which a few of us here at the Ohio Division of Wildlife will narrow all of the choices submitted to a list of finalists. The names making the final cut will then be up for public vote via a webpoll in early April. So, stay tuned and start thinking of your choice of name!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on cams and a peek at Eclipse!

The cameras seem to be adjusted properly now...or so I hope! We had to change a setting in the nestbox after it was too bright yesterday. Seems normal now but the downside is no picture after dark like we had the first night after install. Oh well-daytime viewing is most important.

We still need to correct the sound but that adjustment can be made from the inside. We'll be working on that in the near future.

Both Scout and the male have been around this morning so it appears that courtship is progressing normally. Hopefully we will have eggs within a couple of weeks.

If you are wondering, the yellowish feathers in the nestbox are from a Northern flicker. Some were there on Monday and at that time I tidied up the nestbox and picked them out. Now there are more. Either another flicker was consumed or perhaps the wind blew them back in.
One of the young from last year's nest, Eclipse, was observed in Cleveland on 3/22/10! I don't have any further details at this time but it is always exciting to hear about "our" young after they have moved on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Nestbox Cam and a good look at the newbie

This afternoon we installed the new nestbox cam. When we first went out on the ledge, both Scout and the new male were there. Scout was in no hurry to give up her turf to us! The male made several passes and you can even see him in this photo "backing up" Scout: The new cam is a bit more technologically advanced than what we had previously and hopefully will offer a more even picture in harsh lighting conditions. As I write this after 9 pm I notice the inside of the nestbox is still very light so we'll have extended viewing anyway! Here we are trying to troubleshoot the audio. Right now both microphones (nestbox and ledge) are coming through on the ledgecam live streaming, and no audio is coming through on the nestbox live stream. So, more work to be done on the audio but luckily, that is work that is all done on the inside of the building so we won't be disturbing the birds.
Finally, for more "behind the scenes" photos of today's ledge visit, be sure to visit the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp page on facebook and Become a Fan!

More on the New Male & Cam Update

Later this afternoon we will replace the nestbox camera but until then expect the picture to be blue and green. While we are working, all video feeds will be temporarily disconnected. Our work out on the ledge will be done as quickly as possible so as to minimize disturbance to the "new bird."

It appears as though the new male does not have leg bands. Therefore, we have no idea where he came from or his age. His plumage looks to be full adult which would make him at least 3 years old. Mary Anne posted this video of the male and Scout with prey that he likely caught for her. Here is another photo showing a bare leg (thanks to Mary Anne for this picture as well):

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New male finally shows himself!!!

The suspicion of a second bird is finally confirmed! Here's a photo courtesy of Margaret K. The male is the falcon closest to the ledge camera in this shot:

Over the past couple of days a second bird has been seen flying by and perching on the next ledge over while Scout has been very vocal and has been coming and going/in and out of the nest box. Also, Scout has been seen with prey on the nest ledge which would indicate some courtship behavior (the male catches prey for the female). But his failure to perch on the nest ledge has frustrated many watchers who have been anxious to get a good look at him! On Sunday, 3/21/10, he finally was caught on camera at the nest ledge! And the best news is he appears to be an adult bird! More information to come soon!

Friday, March 19, 2010

March is Marching on and Still No Mate - or could there be?!

Several times this week Scout has been very antsy: vocalizing, going and in and out of the nestbox, flying off the ledge, coming right back, etc. A couple of times a 2nd bird has been seen flying by or landing on the next ledge over but so far no concrete sightings to confirm if the bird is a male or another female threatening the territory. It certainly seems as though she is acting like a potential mate is near, but no good view yet. So, we continue to wait.

Early next week we will be replacing the nestbox camera and experimenting with settings on the ledgecam to help lighten up the back corner behind the nestbox to make for better viewing in the afternoon hours. While we're on the ledge we hope to see two falcons flying by!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Various visitors to the ledge to report:
On Sunday, 3/7/10, a brave pair of pigeons spent some time on the ledge and even investigated the nestbox!
Thanks to Mary Anne for saving and allowing me to share these images.

Then, on Weds., 3/10/10 an adult peregrine was observed!! I was at the Division of Wildlife's annual Wildlife Diversity Conference all day so I missed the action. Luckily, others were watching and saving videos. A video was posted on YouTube. Looking at the footage, it appears that Scout was aggressive towards this bird therefore, it may have been another female that was investigating the area.

Meanwhile, we are looking into a new camera for the nestbox since it seems to be intent on glitching out, as evidenced by the lovely yellow-green tone in the photo above and flashing to blue on the live streaming. We are working in a very small window of time to get something purchased and installed since it is so close to nesting season. However, without a male (thus no eggs in the immediate near future) it does give us a little extra time. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cam seems to be acting up...

Still no evidence of a male but Scout has been pretty active this week. There has been several times she has been vocalizing and taking flight from the ledge in what seems like an urgent manner only to come back quickly and leave again. This seems to indicate another falcon in the area but since there's been no sign of another bird on the ledge it could likely be that she is defending the territory from another female that may be around. The cams show us so much more than we'd ever have the chance to see but there's a lot that they DON'T show, too! A reminder that the cams are no substitute for eyewitness observations.

Meanwhile, the cams have been acting funny. Oh, how frustrating! The nestbox cam in particular was flashing a plain blue screen. The blue screen is usually a result of the video feed being interrupted. My theory is perhaps there is some work being done in the building that is jiggling a cable and causing a break in connection. The nestbox is also now markedly pink-toned for no apparent reason. We're in the process of troubleshooting and hope to make some adjustments to camera settings next week. Thanks for your patience!