Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trooper vs. Scout vs. Trooper - Which Falcon is on the Eggs??!!

Here are some ways to help tell which adult is incubating. If you click on the photo, it should open to a larger window for easier reading and/or printing:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tick-tock, Tick-tock, Tick-tock....

So....the second week of incubation is looking a lot like the first week did: Scout on eggs...Trooper on eggs...Scout on eggs sleeping...eggs alone...Trooper on eggs...Scout standing over eggs...Trooper on eggs sleeping...and so on and so on. While it may not be the most exciting thing to watch, it is good that incubation is so mundane--because it implies everything is progressing normally.

There was a brief interesting moment yesterday when 2 pigeons landed on the nest ledge just outside of where Scout was incubating. Scout didn't seem to mind and did not leave her post.I was trying to capture video at the moment but wasn't quick enough. Thanks to a dedicated fan for these saved still images.

In the coming days I will attempt to save and post images of the two adults in incubating position as a comparison to help viewers better tell Scout from Trooper and vice versa.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Incubation on track!

Well, it seems that Scout is now focused on incubation. It is possible there could be another egg, but four is the normal clutch size. We were able to get a better look at the egg laid yesterday and it appears to be intact, just lacking pigment on both ends. It's likely just a "cosmetic defect" and the egg should develop normally.

What to expect during incubation...? For the most part it will be watching a bird sit on rocks - basically, one of the adults will be on the eggs almost 24/7 for the next +/-33 days to keep them at a consistent temperature for development of the embryo. In general, not too dramatic! Scout will assume most of the incuation duty, while Trooper's role is to provide her food and take her place on the eggs while she eats.

However, we can expect some variation in the action: combine a south-facing ledge with unusually warm temperatures and there will be times, especially on bright sunny days, that Scout won't be as tight on the eggs, in fact, she may even shade them. This is to prevent the eggs from being too warm. In past years she has rolled them to a different location within the box and then back to the main scrape. So, there will be some different behaviors to watch for over the next several weeks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Egg No. 4

As of midday today, 4/14/10, there are now 4 eggs in the nest. So far, Scout has not been very focused on incubation duty. This lack of attention won't hurt the eggs as they will remain in limbo until they receive consistent heat through incubation. However, it will make estimating a hatch date a little tricky...

The new egg looks like it is lacking pigment on the end, or maybe is stained with feces. The other end in the shadows looks odd also, almost like it could be broken. However, if the egg is cracked it's very likely the falcons would have removed it from the nest. Or not(!). All we can do is continue to watch and monitor the situation to see how it plays out.

We hope to get the sound situation corrected later this week. Right now both microphones are coming through on the ledge live streaming and no sound is with the nest box streaming. The work to correct this will be done inside the building with no affect on the birds whatsoever.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And, the winning name is.....

28% of 3452 votes chose Trooper! It was a tight race! The name Mystery was a very close second and Drifter also received more than 20% of the votes.

The name Trooper was submitted by four individuals. One name was picked at random to determine the ultimate winner: Congratulations to Karen Lee of Mount Vernon, OH! For the entry, Karen will receive a peregrine falcon hat from the Wild Ohio Shop. The other folks who submitted the name suggestion (Deb Karr, Betsy Harmon, and Robbin Lee Sneddon) will receive Division of Wildlife water bottles.

Thanks again to everyone for each of the 748 suggestions submitted and for all of the votes. We really appreciate the participation and hope that everyone had fun.

By the way, please be advised that technical difficulties with the live streaming are to be expected and we sincerely apologize for when the service is down. However, in most cases the refreshed images will still be available, so there is that opportunity to continue to watch what is going on at the nest when the streaming is not operational. Note that we do monitor the site but are usually unable to troubleshoot or perform reboots after normal business hours. Feel free to email to alert us to problems with the website but after reading a few emails from this past weekend I would like to ask if you do write in, to please refrain from being rude in your emails! Thank you very much!

And, a 3rd!!!

Egg #3: Monday morning, April 12, 2010!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2 Eggs!

The second egg was visible as the day broke on Saturday, April 10.
Incubation usually starts with the next-to-the-last egg (the normal clutch for peregrines is 4 eggs). In the meantime, the egg(s) are in limbo. There isn't any development until the eggs are kept at the proper, consistent temperature.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

1ST EGG & info on name choices

The first egg has FINALLY appeared! It was first observed by some viewers as early as 6:47 a.m. when the nestbox was still very dark, but the egg was barely visible. Additional daylight a few minutes later brightened the box to reveal the egg for sure! Thanks to Ethel for this photo of the male with the egg early in the day:Eggs are laid every 2-3 days so we can expect the 2nd egg over the weekend.

The voting continues for the name for the male. Several of the finalists were submitted by more than one individual. If a name wins that was suggested by more than one person we will pick the final winner at random, just like we do with the childrens' naming contest for the chicks. Here are a few comments submitted with the name choices:
Astro: "came flying in like an astro (star)"
Drifter: "drifted into town," "no leg bands, no way to know where he came from"
Flint: "Ohio's state stone," "feathers are flint colored, strong powerful name"
Mystery: too many people submitted this choice to list all the comments but most remarks referred to the fact that he is not banded therefore it is a "mystery" as to where he came from
Trooper: "embarking on a bold new phase of his life, which requires a lot of bravery, tenacity, and commitment," "a real "trooper" and came through when we needed him," "correlates well with Scout"

Many suggested "Wilbur" to complement Orville, however, the name "Wilbur" was already used for a nestmate of Orville's in Dayton in 2003. Names playing on a "new" theme were not chosen as finalists because we genuinely hope he sticks around in which case the "new" would not apply in subsequent years.

We thank each and every person who took the time to submit name suggestions. There were SO many wonderful choices and it was very apparent that everyone put a lot of thought into their choice. Regardless of what we call him, we are glad he has claimed the Columbus territory!!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Time to Vote for a Name for the Male!

Still no eggs and everyone is anxious...evidently, Scout's system is taking more time to cycle and produce an egg than WE would like, but there should be an egg soon...We do know that she is an accomplished egg-layer, so it is only a matter of time. Meanwhile, the online poll is now live to vote for your choice of name for the new male in Columbus.

We had over 700 submissions and it was very difficult to narrow down the choices for the online poll. Many names that made the final cut had to be eliminated last minute because we found out about some naming guidelines that are in place in the Midwest that we were previously unaware of. Our statewide falcon biologist also did not want us to use a name that was already the name of a nesting falcon elsewhere in Ohio or a name of a falcon that may not be nesting in Ohio but has recently been observed and so could be seen again. With over 700 to choose from we think we still have a good selection and appreciate everyone's vote!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Name survey closes tonight; Mating video

The name survey is scheduled to go offline tonight at midnight. When I checked the other day, there were over 500 submissions! Tomorrow we will narrow the choices in preparation for an online poll next week to pick the winning name.

Here is a link to a video that shows mating that was posted on YouTube by a dedicated falcon fan. The birds have been together for two weeks now, and that is the length of time that it typically takes for the female to cycle and produce eggs. So...hopefully we will see eggs in the next couple of days!