Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live Action!

In late April subscribers to NH.Birds got a birth announcement from Audubon biologist Chris Martin: "...at the Brady-Sullivan Tower in Manchester, ... the adult pair is trying to raise FIVE chicks! Will this be the first time on record anywhere in the Granite State that Peregrines successfully fledge five young?" Chris went on to say, "Get an inside look by visiting Peregrine Cam at http://www.spectraaccess.com/falcon2/. Who needs reality TV when you can watch this?"

Indeed! As these young eyasses grew people from all over the world "tuned" to the two-camera live coverage of this particular falcon family. Owl cams and falcon cams and just about any other bird cams have been around for a while, but until my recent access to high-speed internet I never really got into checking them out. Now able to view the comings and goings of the Manchester Peregrine parents as they cared for the five fluffy nestlings I became hooked. The link was constantly on my screen as I worked on various projects, and every once in a while I'd check in to see how the family was doing.
Wow! What a great view!

In mid-May the "kids" were surprised by a big green gloved hand reaching down into the nest box. One by one they were plucked from their huddle and disappeared from view somewhere above. Some time later they were returned wearing the "jewelry" which will identify them wherever they may be seen. USFWS aluminum bands as well as colored and numbered bands were placed on their legs by Martin and his assistant (HMANA award-recipient) Robert Vallieres. Viewers were treated to the sight of a very angry mother bird who tried to defend her young through the trap-door in the top of the nest box. Vallieres reports that she "would have come right into the room with us" if they hadn't been careful.

Within a couple of weeks the white fluffy down pajamas were being replaced by darker adult plumage, and the youngsters began exercising their newly feathered wings. Finally they began to be brave enough to venture out onto the perch, and would "fly" back and forth between it and the ledge.

This is how you do it!

By June 3 four of the young birds had taken flight. It took the youngest of the brood another couple of days before she was bold or hungry enough to make the jump.

Yes, this is my kind of "reality TV!"

And then there was one....

Thanks to the folks at Spectra Access for permission to use the photos accompanying this article.

1 comment:

  1. I live a couple towns away from this and I am watching on the cam now her sitting on four eggs.