Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 in Review

Despite no young peregrines hatched in Columbus this year, nonetheless, 2011 was an eventful year in Columbus!

A Failed Nest:
The nesting pair in 2011 consisted of Durand, from the 2009 Hamilton, Ontario nest and an unbanded adult male (age and origin unknown). It was likely both birds' first time nesting, as evidenced by some of the behaviors (or lack thereof) we witnessed. 5 eggs were laid in April in two different scrapes in the nestbox. After days of the eggs being apart, nervous viewers were relieved to see all eggs finally in the same depression, moved together by Durand. At first Durand did not seem to have the proper incubation technique mastered, but before long her instincts finally kicked in and the eggs were covered properly. While things went along normally after that point for a time, unfortunately, early in week 4 Durand abandoned the eggs altogether. The eggs were removed from the nest and determined to be infertile--had they been incubated properly and for the required length of time they would not have hatched anyway.

Current Status of Adults:
Early in the season, there were at least 2 instances when a juvenile peregrine briefly came to the ledge before being chased away by the resident adults. Then, in June, a new male was confirmed: Matrix from the Canton, OH 2010 nest. It is not known what happened to the unbanded male. Matrix and Durand remained in the territory until at least fall. Without the cams or reports from folks downtown it is hard to say if one or both birds have migrated out of the area or remain and either aren't being seen or those who may have observed them have not reported it to me. On 12/22/11, the nestbox camera was working and revealed an unbanded adult peregrine in the nestbox. Only time (and properly working cameras!) will tell if that falcon was just passing through.

Status of the Cameras:
We discontinued the live streaming video in July due to the intended change over of streaming services. Further complications have so far prevented us from restoring that service. Then, in October technical problems ended the still images also. We continue to work on restoring both services and it is our intention to have everything up and running again prior to next nesting season.

Blog Traffic:
Of interesting note, below is a summary of traffic to this blog for the time period January 1, 2011 through December 26, 2011. Overall activity was down from previous years but not unexpected due to a failed nest. Nonetheless, interest remained quite high:
Total number of visits: 147,820 (compared to 281,520 in 2010)
Number of UNIQUE visitors: 37,409 (57,969 in 2010)
Highest traffic day with 3,933 visits was April 13, 2011 (the date the 5th egg was laid)
Similar to previous years, traffic came from 70 different countries around the world!!
Ohioans logged over 70% of the visits (104,049)!

THANK YOU to everyone for reading this blog and for your interest in the ODNR, Division of Wildlife's Columbus Peregrine Falcon Project!

Please bear with us while we continue to get the images and streaming video restored for 2012. Happy New Year everyone!