Friday, January 15, 2010

Camera Reinstall visit on Jaunuary 14, 2010

Hi All,

I am eager to report the details about my recent visit to the peregrine falcon nest site yesterday. It was very cold in the morning but warmed quickly as the sun rose. I was able to secure the camera back on its 'perch' to offer us, once again, an inward looking perspective on the nest tray. While tightening the u-bolts I was 'buzzed' by each of the falcons.

Needless to say, I worked quickly and was happy to have support from our collaborator who provided warning that the falcons were approaching fast (not that there was anywhere to hide!). I had tried to time the visit to avoid disturbing the pair, but given their persistent territoriality and presence at the site through the year, I had to settle with simply minimizing my disturbance. That is I visited during the period outside of the birds nesting season. Last year these birds became active at the nest in early February and laid eggs at the end of March.

Of particular interest to our project is what these birds are eating. I was fortunate to also visit one of the feeding 'stoops' where these birds perch and tear apart their food items. In addition to three very fresh rock pigeon carcasses (as well as a count of nine older, desiccated pigeon carcasses), I found the following items shown in the photos below.

Can you recognize these bird parts? It may be difficult to do so from the photos alone but I welcome any thoughts or questions that you might have about these prey items. I have identified them only after careful and cautious observation. I will post their identity next week in this be sure to check back!



Well, that is all that I would like to report for now. There is a great deal happening at BRI so please visit our website ( to learn more. Until next time enjoy our webcams and your wildlife!

All the Best,
Patrick Keenan
Outreach Coordinator
BioDiversity Research Institute


  1. Hi Patrick, what an exciting visit you must have had to the peregrine's nest!! Glad you were able to get your work done and depart without being attacked.

    Our guess for photo #1: american woodcock
    Our guess for photo #2: downy or hairy woodpecker but thats only a weak guess.

    Look forward to your posting the answers next week. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!


  2. Hey Patrick, thanks for the update and the cool photos!....and thanks for not asking us to ID bones.
    #1 Lesser Yellowleg
    #2 Red-Winged Blackbird

    Glad to hear the birds are close by protecting their nest, they'll start to recognize you soon!
    J. in S.P.ME

  3. Patrick,

    Thanks for the update on your visit to the site.
    The identifications before mine are Great, but wanting to try and find something different, I think that they may be a common snipe (photo A) and Pileated Woodpecker (photo B)
    My wife thinks they belong to a sandpiper (photo A) and Redheaded woodpecker (photo B).
    Looking forward to the results.

    Thanks , this was a great way of getting into a couple of books to look through them.

    Enjoy & Have a Great Day

  4. 1/22
    I am thinking woodcock from the head photo.

    cathy h in mass

  5. Hi All,

    Many thanks for your input on the bird parts. It was very exciting to gather them and fun to ID them and share them on the blog. I must admit that I was stumped at first by these body parts. After close examination (and input from others) I am very confident that: Photo 1 is the head of an american woodcock and Photo 2 is the wing of a black guillemot.

    Notably, my first glimpse at the black wing with a white patch had me considering white-winged scoter but it seemed, after a quick measurement it became clear that this was indeed a guillemot wing.

    As for the woodcock head...well, I was stuck in shuffling through shorebirds until Rick Gray suggested woodcock. Immediatley it was clear from the barring on the head (not completely clear in the photos).

    Many thanks for your comments. Hopefully we can do more of this in the future.

    All the Best,
    Patrick Keenan
    BioDiversity Research Insititute

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