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The Journal of Rfalconcam

Moving Toward Fledging

Zephyr on the Perch Rail
This morning brought us the first evidence that the eyases are starting to test the boundaries of the nest box. Here’s “Z-man”, Zephyr, standing on the perch rail of the nest box a little after 6AM today, while his siblings look on. Over the next few days we should begin to see more of the eyases moving out onto the perch rail. This position gives them more room to spread their wings and exercise the muscles they’ll use when they take their first flights.

Last year, the first of the 2007 eayses fledged on June 20, so the next several days promise to bring some real excitement! Our fledge watchers will be out and reporting soon, so we’ll bring all the news to you as soon as we receive it.

Zephyr beside the nest box
Zephyr has left the nest box! He hasn’t flown yet, but as you can see in the picture above he’s hopped over to the small ledge beside the box. Our on-scene watchers report that he and his siblings have spent the day practicing their wing-flapping. Now that one of them has taken the first steps beyond the nest box, it’s likely the others will follow before too long.

UPDATE June 16!!
Susan B. on the ledge
Susan B. took her first step out of the nest box yesterday, but didn’t go farther than the perch rail. Today she was out again, this time on the ledge beside the nest box. In the picture above Susan B is on the left.

Zephyr took another walk outside the nest box this morning, and this time he jumped down onto the catwalk beneath the nest box. It’s an area the local watchers call the “Playpen” because the pre-fledge eyases have a lot of space to run around there. We’ll try to get some shots of Zephyr in the Playpen using Camera 1’s ability to pan tilt and zoom, so keep watching!


127 Responses to “Moving Toward Fledging”

  1. Debbie Says:

    Yes Quest seems very close to making the leap I was just hoping it would before I leave work. I am so glued to this site all day I barely get any work done, and now I got to go home where it is very hard to get on and check them out. Quest will make the leap soon. 🙂

  2. Barbara in WA Says:

    Me, too. I am trying to do laundry and pack for a trip and I just don’t want to leave the computer for a moment !!!

  3. Angela Says:

    Has anyone fledged yet? Has anyone permanently left? 😕

  4. Kathy V Says:

    Answer this…why can’t Kodak fix the area around the nest box after the falcons are gone for their season..and have it fixed for a new box in the same spot ,ready for them next year.They can do the rest of the work after that. Isn’t that feasible?

  5. ENB Says:

    Susan B looking big and beautiful sitting on the perch. Quest and Seneca doing a lot of grooming. Hope they go together.

  6. Jess Says:

    Woah! We’re approaching 100 comments on this article!

    One quick note– let’s all try to be kind to each other. We’re all here for the falcons, and I’m sure no harm was meant either by the “runt” label or the replies to it.

    @Liza & Carol– We’re going to copy your fledge watch reports over to our new Falcon Watch blog (but we’ll keep them here as well). We’re still working on getting all the final touches in place with the blog, but it will be the official repository for all of the fledge watch reports this year!

    @Barbara in WA- There doesn’t appear to be a rhyme or reason to which siblings hang out together, though we often see males and females together more than siblings of the same gender. Edge and Isaura (2003) were best buddies. Hafoc (2004) also preferred the company of his sisters to that of his brother Grissom.

    @MJC- Moving Camera 1 is not as easy as it used to be, but we’ll try to get some good views of the eyases in the playpen for everyone.

    @Alison- In our best case scenario, we hope to know which of the new nest boxes Mariah and Kaver will choose to use before the end of this year. That should give our team time to install all of the cameras in the chosen nest box before the 2009 season begins. If we’re not successful in doing that, our fallback plan is to treat the site like the Canadian Peregrine Foundation’s website, shifting the focus for 2009 to on-site observations with lots of pictures from our watcher/photographers!

    @KathyV- No, it really isn’t, because the workers would still be in danger from Mariah’s attacks, especially if fledglings decided to land on the scaffolding where they were working. And danger for the workers from Mariah means danger for Mariah due to the possibility that she’d injure herself. Believe me, we really have thought through all of the alternatives, and arrived at the one that makes most sense from a safety standpoint.

  7. ENB Says:

    Camera 4 @ 4:55 – is that 2 in the playpen – only a partial view of both?

  8. Barbara in WA Says:

    Thanks, Jess, for the great info once again.

    To anyone wondering, the two brothers are still in the playpen at this time. It will be interesting to hear from the spotters if either of them took to flight.

  9. Todd P Says:

    At 5:06pm today – looks like Diamante is out on the perch now! This is getting better every day. Have fun watching….

  10. Barbara in WA Says:

    Todd – it is actually Susan B on the perch and she’d been there much of the day. Zephyr and Diamante are in the playpen. It is so amazing to watch, isn’t it ?

  11. shecansew Says:

    Susan B has ledged. She’s been on both sides and under the nest box.

  12. shecansew Says:

    Addendum – she did this just in the last couple of minutes.

  13. Barbara in WA Says:

    Bravo Susan B. – she was just now able to get herself on top of the nest box !!

  14. Angela Says:

    Its almost 7:00 im going falcon watching, anyone wanna come with? 😀

  15. Al Smith Says:

    Did anyone else see what appears to be a wire protruding from the juvie on camera #2 at 7:35PM?

  16. Debbie Says:

    I wish I could Angela I never have before and would love to sometime. Maybe this weekend I can come up and join the watchers

  17. Debbie Says:

    Susan B is very courageous, exploring all over

  18. Debbie Says:

    AJ that is Quest’s transmitter I think you see.

  19. Beverly Frick Says:

    I could see something silvery looking, just not sure what it is

  20. Debbie Says:

    Sorry AL i missed typed. Beverly and Al that is just her transmitter all is fine

  21. Al Says:

    This is the first I have seen what I presume to be Quest’s transmitter antenna. At times it appears to be sticking several inches straight out from her back. I’m not sure how it is attached to the harness, but just have to wonder if something went wrong.

  22. caye Says:

    Barbara, I want to thank you so much for the information on how to get to shakey,s camera. I have been having just a great old time!

  23. Alison in Austria Says:

    “our fallback plan is to treat the site like the Canadian Peregrine Foundation’s website, shifting the focus for 2009 to on-site observations with lots of pictures from our watcher/photographers!”

    Just between you and me, the quality of our on-site watchers’ reports and pictures far surpass those on the CPF site. So if the birds pull a “fast one” and the cameras are not in place, it will still be a wonderful experience.

  24. ENB Says:

    re: late July time frame for beginning the renovation project, it’s anticipated all 5 will be flying strong, successfully hunting prey and have quit the nestbox. Is the time frame realistic? After they quit the box do they tend to take up residence nearby in the 1st year? Or do they immediately begin fanning out, searching for and staking out territory?

  25. Alison in Austria Says:

    They fan out, ENB. They start in the Gorge (where they are wonderfully camoflaged) they go to the airport (not a good place – those birds are even bigger and were the end of one hopeful fledgling) they head to Canada, frequently. Actually staking out a territory would not occur until next spring and they are only really mature enough for successful breeding in their second year (although from time to time we hear of first year successes).
    In the first years there were some reunions reported on the Kodak building long after fledging, but that was unusual, it turns out. I wonder if those posts from some 8-9 years ago, before forums and such, still exist somewhere – then the website got even more elaborate and one heard the call of a falcon EVERY time one accessed the site! Fortunately that cry which also sounded with every refresh was left out the next season and we had to rely on sound libraries like Cornell or the cameras in Harrisburg for falcon sounds since Kodak specialized in excellent cameras 🙂

  26. Alison in Austria Says:

    Sorry if this is long and preachy, but you asked 😉

  27. ENB Says:

    Thank you for the input

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