Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Names are In and More Milestones

Thanks again to ALL of the students at Griffith Thomas Elementary School in Dublin, who participated in the naming contest.  And thanks to our panel of wildlife enthusiasts who chose the finalists for the web poll.  And finally, THANKS to the 3,700+ votes that decided on three great names for this year's falcon chicks:  (drum roll, please...)
Hoshi (Japanese for star)

Seasoned viewers know this is about the point in the nesting cycle for two things to happen.  Firstly, the chicks defecate on the front of the camera lens!  That is why the nestbox view is so blurry today - it has been drenched with falcon feces!  Next week during the banding when we are out on the ledge we will clean it off but until then, expect a clouded view.  Hopefully, it won't get any worse between now and then.  Last year with only one chick in the nest we were fortunate that this didn't happen, however, with multiple chicks it was only a matter of time until one of them squirted in that direction. 
The second milestone is the chicks are walking about and venturing out of view of the cameras.  There are a few places in the nestbox they can waddle to that we cannot see their location via the camera.  They also have started to walk out onto the "porch" of the nestbox!  In the photo below you can see the white fluffy chick outside in front of the nestbox.  There is no danger of any of the chicks falling off of the ledge at this point though, because there is a several inch step up from the level of the nestbox to the actual ledge where the adults fly into and the chicks are unable to get up to that higher level.  For a review of the layout of the nestbox and ledge, please check back to this post from last year.
Banding is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 20 and will be live streamed on our website.  More information to come as details are finalized.