Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eggs to hatch any day!

Hi all, just a reminder to check on the Peregrine Falcon nest. The eggs could hatch at any time A word of warning. Not every clutch results in viable offspring. There are a number of reasons that eggs do not hatch including poor incubation/exposure to weather, developmental problems related to genetics or contaminant exposure, and predation. So, cross your fingers for a successful hatch.
All the Best,
Patrick Keenan
BioDiversity Research Institute

Friday, April 3, 2009

Peregrine Falcon Scrape Site Selection

Hi All,
Bruce Connery of the National Park Service has contributed this informative blog about falcon nest site selection.
All the Best,
Patrick Keenan
BioDiversity Research Institute

Peregrine Falcon Scrape Site Selection

The selection of a scrape, or nest site, for peregrine falcons occurs in tandem with other courtship activities and behaviors. The adults may visit several likely suitable ledges or structural platforms in the weeks leading up to the eggs being laid, seeking sites that have the right combination of factors such as aspect, exposure, and protection. Along with courtship activities such as pair flying and food exchanges, the adults often engage in ledge or scrape displays. These displays further strengthen the bond between the pair and also indicate possible nesting sites.

Falcons prefer scrapes that are composed of pea-sized gravels with small grains of sand or gravel and some soil, but where precipitation can drain away from the eggs, incubating adult, and eventually the chicks. Falcon scrapes may occur on natural or artificial structures but must be inaccessible from terrestrial predators and are often situated between vertical faces or walls above and below the scrape.

Natural candidate nesting sites can be open exposed ledges, ledges under an overhanging cliff, or raptor stick nests that the falcons claim for themselves from other raptors or from ravens that have an east to southern aspect. Scrapes on southeastern aspects provide morning warmth while protecting the adults and chicks from the hot mid- to late afternoon daytime temperatures that become common in late spring and early summer.

Artificial nest sites have good visibility and access and some protection from the sun and weather. Artificial sites may be the tops of bridge supports or structures, tops of buildings or on towers used in manufacturing complexes, but again must have a granular substrate that the adults can move around or hollow out into a depression to hold the eggs.

Nest boxes are often placed on towers, bridges, or other high locations were falcons have been observed at least perching and resting. The boxes can vary in size according to the dimension of the location they were they will be placed, however they must have sides that rise above and hold the granular substrate and have good drainage.

Bruce Connery
National Park Service

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Become a BRI Webcam Member

Greetings all!

BRI is very excited to announce the launch of a membership program.

Please click here to become a member

Through this program and your support we hope over the nesting season to raise $65,000 to ensure that we are able to keep these systems running free for everyone.

There are seven different giving levels with the membership and they each have unique and exciting thank you gifts. All members will be automatically signed up for our electronic updates and will receive a BRI sticker--the e-updates will be free for all viewers. The membership levels are.

1. Fledgling, $25: this is for kids and students. Members at this level will receive an eagle mobile and a BRI sticker.

2. Finch, $35: with this membership level you will receive a BRI sticker.

3. Kestrel, $60: you will receive a BRI pin.

4. Osprey, $100: you will receive a 1G memory stick for your computer loaded with high resolution video footage from our webcams and a beautiful eagle screen saver for your computer. Once you have loaded the videos and screen saver onto your computer you can use the memory stick to transfer files and back-up files on your computer.

5. Loon, $250: you will receive a signed copy of Dr. David Evers (BRI's Executive Director) and and Ms Taylor's (former board member) book on loons.

6. Peregrine, $500: you will become one of BRI's top supporters with a Peregrine membership. You will receive a signed copy of Dr. Evers and Ms. Taylor's book "Call of the Loon", our webcam e-update, and BRI sticker.


7. Eagle, $1,000: Your exceptionally generous support allows BRI to conduct its cutting edge wildlife education and research. You will receive a quarterly letter from BRI's Executive Director, a signed copy of the book "Call of the Loon", webcam e-updates, and BRI sticker.

Please consider become a webcam member. Last year we were fortunate to receive several one-year foundation grants to expand our program.

We are working on setting up two more loon cams, and potentially a catbird cam. Today we were talking about potential plans to set up ten more cams in Maine as well as some in some tropical site.

Your support will ensure than we are able to continue our current work and greatly expand.

Thank you.