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The Journal of Rfalconcam

Quest Bucks Winter’s Bite

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(Zoom in or out on the map by clicking the small “+” & “-” signs. Move it around by clicking your mouse button and dragging the map in the desired direction. Click the falcon icons for more information about each location.)

Thanks to Quest’s regularity, continuing gaps in the location data from her transmitter haven’t hindered our ability to follow her movements. As you’ll see from the latest map she continues her stay in the Tom Nevers neighborhood. In an unusual coincidence, Quest’s trip up the beach on 22 January found her in exactly the same location as she was on the 1st of January, right down to 1/1000th of a degree! The time stamps for the location data are different for each day, so this might indicate that she has a favored spot at that location.

Perhaps the most interesting data from the past week concerned the temperature. Quest’s satellite transmitter has a small temperature sensor built into it. This sensor measures the temperature of the transmitter unit, which is influenced by the temperature of Quest’s environment, and also her own body temperature. Provided that the signal strength is good, we usually receive a temperature reading along with each location. Often, the temperature readings aren’t much different than the ambient temperature at her location. This most likely means that Quest is in a relatively exposed location.

The interesting bit is that for the past week, while average daily temperatures in Nantucket have hovered between -1° and -4°C, Quest’s temperature sensor has been reading 20 to 25 degrees higher than that. In fact, the temperature reading on 26 January was 32.39°C, or 90.3°F. That’s a pretty high temperature for the middle of winter, and it may indicate that Quest is finding good shelter from the elements. It’s yet another positive sign that her survival instincts are developing well.


21 Responses to “Quest Bucks Winter’s Bite”

  1. Melissa in MA Says:

    I certainly hope she has found warm shelter,
    as we are due for yet more snow tomorrow.

    And that bit about the temperature difference,
    wow! That seems high to be an outdoor
    temp, perhaps she has found someplace
    covered with easy access…good for her!!

  2. Kathy G Says:

    I used to hear stories from my dad about birds being over come from the fumes and falling into Kodak’s chimneys. She must be near a significant heat source–hope she ok.

  3. dale Says:

    HOW hot??? where on earth could THAT be?
    how surprising!

  4. Jess Says:

    @dale- keep in mind that a Peregrine’s body temperature is a bit higher than a humans– somewhere around 39 or 40°C, or about 103°F. So a temperature reading of 90° just means she’s keeping herself out of the cold, presumably in some sheltered spot.

    @Kathy G- There doesn’t appear to be any external sources of heat near Quest’s locations. It’s more likely she’s just staying out of the weather, and her own body heat is keeping the transmitter’s temperature sensor warm.

  5. Kathy G Says:

    Thanks for information, Jess! I feel better. It is amazing how she is able to find good enough shelter to maintain her boady temp in -1-4 temperatures! Smart Quest!

  6. Maureen in MA Says:

    That is GREAT news to hear!! Reading and learning all of this from Quest’s travels is so amazing. Thank you, Jess!

  7. Larry O Says:

    I’d just point out that -1 C is like 30F. Still cold, but not the sub-frigid temperatures that non-metric folks might think.

  8. Lola Says:

    Jess, Thank you for the good news about Quest. That seems to be one smart girl. She was taught well by Mariah and Kaver !!!

  9. Alison in Austria Says:

    Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
    Thou art not so unkind
    As man’s ingratitude;
    Thy tooth is not so keen,
    Because thou art not seen,
    Although thy breath be rude.
    Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
    Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
    This life is most jolly.

    Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
    That dost not bite so nigh
    As benefits forgot:
    Though thou the waters warp,
    Thy sting is not so sharp
    As friend remember’d not.
    Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
    Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
    This life is most jolly.

    But the friendships that the falcons have engendered seem unfeigned 🙂

    Act II, Scene 7 from As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1600)
    Heigh-ho! sing, &c.

  10. Jim P Says:

    Ah, my favorite of the Bard’s works, and a terrific song to boot. Back in high school choir (24 years ago) we sang an arrangement of this song by John Rutter– hauntingly beautiful, but quite a difficult piece. Here’s a very good rendition on YouTube. Our choir wasn’t quite up to the standard in this recording, but I remember it as though we were…

  11. Kathy V Says:

    That was most interesting, thanks. Glad to hear she is keeping warm and doing well.

  12. DianaR Says:

    Has anyone tried Google Earth to get a look at what there is, in terms of buildings etc., around there?

  13. DianaR Says:

    Tom Nevers Pond is at 41.2477115 – Longitude: -69.9876290 if that helps anyone find it. I don’t have Google Earth any more due to its memory requirements.

  14. Birdlover Says:

    Maybe she bought up one of those multi-million dollar homes and has moved in 🙂

    Have to admit, she’s got good taste!

  15. Kim in Italy Says:

    Shee’s got the best taste for sure! 😀
    Can’t say how much appreciate Alison’s post!!! 😀 😀 😀

  16. Birdlover Says:


    There is an easier way to see what it looks like. Go to google and type in “real estate Tom Nevers Pond” and it will give you home listings of the area complete with photos, town descriptions, schools, landmarks, etc.

    Just hold on to your hat when you see the prices of the properties. Some of the real estate listings include inside home “tour” photos – they are grand!

  17. Gail from Cinci Says:

    Thanks Jess and everyone for your interesting comments. I loved the YouTube rendition – if Quest only knew what she inspires in us! When I lived in New England, I had the chance to go to Nantucket one time – it’s a beautiful place.
    When Quest first got fitted with the transmitter, I admit I was a little concerned. She had been the most assertive of the eyases and she seemed to have a small setback. Now I’m glad to know she’s doing apparently quite well and I certainly enjoy following her activities. It’s really wonderful that Mr. Laux from an earlier post was able to take pictures and we were able to see her once again.

    It won’t be too much longer before we catch up with Mariah and Kaver!

  18. chrissy Says:

    It’s good to know Quest continues to thrive where she is ‘tho I’m not surprised. Nantucket has a climate that is a bit milder than inland or the cape d/t the Gulf Stream which runs right by there. The warmer waters also attract the smorgasbord of prey she’s been thriving on and with the days growing longer she has more hunting time. It will be interesting to see what she does come spring.

  19. Kathy V Says:

    Thanks Chrissy for the info, its good to know that. I take you are from there??

  20. Kim in Italy Says:

    Thinking of Nantucket, his own home, even Captain Ahab’s stone heart looks nearby to melt for a while.

    ” it is a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky..”

    ” How cheerily, how hilariously, O my Captain, would we bowl on our way to see old Nantucket again! I think, Sir, they have some such mild blue days, even as this, in Nantucket.’
    ‘They have, they have. I have seen them — some summer days in the morning. ”
    Hermann Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter CCCXXXII

    May those “mild blue days” come soon to Quest!
    But will you wait them there, our peregrine girl?

  21. chrissy Says:

    Kathy V., We used to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. As Kim’s post suggests, the lore is almost palpable there.

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