Pets, Animals - Birds
FALCON WATCH - We anticipate the return of our nesting pair of peregrine falcons in late February/early March.
2/4/16 We are gearing up for the return of Michelle and Travis from their winter migration. NEW for this year is the HD Nest Box cam! Stay tuned for their likely return.
7/27/15 Bob earned his wings
We honor the the legacy and contribution that Bob made to falcon reintroduction to the Midwest and their ultimate return to the Mississippi Bluffs. Although Bob was very proud of his work with the Decorah Eagles, his heart was truly in his peregrine falcon recovery work. This video tells the story of his cliff work and was a special favorite: https://youtu.be/USQs4Bwxa18
The photo below shows him on Great Spirit Bluff. It was one of his very favorites - he loved to be on rope - and is how many of us will remember him. Fly on, friend and mentor. We will never forget you.
2015 Fledglings return!
In an unusual twist, we've had up to 3 juveniles at a time return to the nest box to hang out, be fed, and rest for the night. This is quite a rarity to see at GSB. In past years, since the camera was installed, we've had an early fledge. This season, possibly due to GSBD's installation of the second closer perch on the nest box the juveniles were in and out of the box, testing out their balance, strength, and wings far more than we've witnessed in the past. It seems all were very ready for flight by the time they left the nest and all, with the exception of Rusty have returned to the box multiple times. In the past, the chicks have lived in the brush below for a week or more before attaining positive flight and the ability to even get back to the box. At that point, they have likely become accustomed to sleeping and dining elsewhere. Much to our viewer's delight, this year, the nest box seems to have become a home base for our juvies. We've been treated to an extended season and seen them grow and learn to prepare their own meals, perfect take off and landing skills, and maintain their sibling closeness. What a great season!
Successful Fledge for All
If you missed our falcons fledging, check out the highlights below.
Rusty fledge June 15
Garretts partial fledge June 18
Garrett's real fledge June 19
Nina fledge June 19
Elizabeth fledge June 20
It's a boy! And a boy and a girl and a girl!
The Raptor Resource Project crew showed up Saturday afternoon 5/30/15 to band the GSB eyasses. GSBD retrieved the chicks and Bob and Amy banded and determined gender. Travis and Michelle are proud parents of 2 male and 2 female eyasses this season. Bob says they are very strong and healthy this year. Michelle and Travis are doing a remarkable job keeping them fat and happy.
Rusty - 07/D
Garrett - 08/D
Elizabeth - D/44
Nina - D/45
Banding occurs around 3 weeks when eyasses are growing strong and healthy, but not yet ready to fly. Each chick will receive a set of ankle bling: a purple band from the USFWS, and one to track them in the Midwest Peregrine Database. These bands are small enough to not impact mobility, and loose enough to ensure comfort and safety of these beautiful falcons.
Whenever these bands are read by birders, scientists, or interested parties, their location and status can be recorded in the Midwest Peregrine Database. Each year, we check the bands of our mating pair to see whose offspring our bluffside nest will be housing this season. We were able to ID Michelle and Travis thanks to this database. Someday these chicks will turn up at another nest box and we may hear from them again.
Check out our slideshow from the banding.
A Flurry of Fluff - 3 Hatches in Less Than a Day, 4th hatch on Saturday
All of our darling fluffballs have arrived!
Egg 1 @ 1:24 p.m. on 5/7/15
Egg 2 @ 3:10 a.m. on 5/8/15
Egg 3 @ 5:40 a.m. on 5/8/15
Egg 4 hatch confirmed @ 4:30 p.m. 5/9/15
See video of these cuties during a shift change from Michelle to Travis. Courtesy of Priscillash/EagleWhisperer18
Baby Pool Winner!
We have a winner! Grandma GSBDweller must have years of experience, or she is just plain lucky, guessing close to just one hour off the actual hatch time. She is thrilled to have the closest guess, but she already has a copy of Laura's story book, "Eggbert", so she has offered this prize to the next closest guessers. Since both Kaiah and Roseanne/redwingrose were about 6 hours off, we'll offer each of them a either an electronic or printed copy of the illustrated story. Congrats to our winners!
Hope Springs Anew in 2015
2014 was a challenging year for a number of reasons including a cold start, four eggs that didn't hatch, a black fly infestation and early fledge for little Macintosh. We watched our resilient falcon family handle the harsh realities of nature and we all learned lessons along the way.
The new season brings with it a crisp new camera, milder conditions so far, and our reliable and loyal Peregrine pair, Michele and Travis, returning on schedule with a productive start on a new generation. Michele spent the night in the nestbox on March 28th and surprised us with an early morning gift wrapped in brown speckles. Both birds have been taking turns guarding their treasure. These two are such wonderful parents. They make great role models if any other falcons are watching out there.
Michelle lays first egg of 2015 @ 12:46 a.m. 3/29/15
Egg 1 - 3/29/15 @ 12:46 a.m.
Thank you eaglewhisperer18 for your vigilant recording efforts.
Falcon courtship, copulation and gifts 3/14/15
Edited snips of copulation and Travis bringing Michelle a treat
About the GSB Project