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 Great Spiirit Bluff Falcons
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By: MaryF (offline) on Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 03:54 AM EDT (Read 2448 times)  
MaryF

This is not a new nest thread. I wanted some place to put this story. Bob Anderson from RRP seems to think this is a VERY unusual happening for any peregrine falcon nest!!! ~~~~~


Raptor Resource Project


Three young falcons have fallen from the box at Great Spirit Bluff before they were old enough to fledge. Bob intends to see whether or not he can find them. This has been a very hard year on our falcons: we've experienced higher than normal egg failures and losses of hatched birds. Bob is theorizing that massive insect hatches might have something to do with it. He will be checking the young birds, if he can find them, for signs of bites and parasites. From Bob:

"In all of my years of working with peregrine falcons I have never seen young falcons jump or slip off to their death. I have seen falcons nest on 1,000 foot cliffs on a ledge the size of of dinner plate and they always wait until they are feathered enough to fly. I am starting to wonder if we have a unusual hatch of parasites driving the falcons crazy. The only way a young falcon at this age could survive the fall is if by some chance it was slowed down hitting leaves or small limbs. Again, in all of my years of working with peregrine falcons this is new to me. We have had cameras on nesting falcons for twenty years and not witnessed this behavior."

If the young falcons are injured but alive, they will be brought to the Raptor Center for care. If they are dead, they will be brought for necropsy. It is unlikely they would have fallen without some injury. If they are unharmed, Bob will make the call on what to do next.


Highlights and videos:

1st falcon falls from box: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34496685 ... ght/371837

2nd falcon falls from box: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34497469 ... ght/371841

3rd falcon falls from box:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34497469 ... ght/371843

4th young falcon goes back into box: http://youtu.be/SOu32va6oRo


I have another video from Pricilla~~ the 4th and last baby fell from the nest box after going back in to eat! Sad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN5XiMD ... ploademail



ETA~~ Bob's videos of the first three birds falling do not appear to work--however, Pricilla's video shows what happened to them all



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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 06:34 AM EDT  
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I understand that one of the chicks was found and appeared uninjured. It was going to be kept overnight, and then I think fostered into a nearby nest with two chicks. Here's a link to the Raptor Resource Project forum's post with the blog report - http://www.raptorresource.org/forum/ind ... #msg252668.

The nest box was sprayed yesterday to deal with the massive number of parasites, flies etc that have hatched recently and may have driven the pre-flight chicks to jump to try to get away. Posters on the RRP forum thought they heard one or two of the chicks, so they may have landed in trees below the nest. I don't know if another attempt will be made to find the remaining chicks - there's always a chance of scaring them into an even worse position, and the parents will attempt to care for them in the trees.

Sending good thoughts....

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By: MaryF (offline) on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 12:13 AM EDT  
MaryF

Thank You for the link JudyB!! I found the two articles in the blog to be very interesting!!



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By: MaryF (offline) on Saturday, June 22 2013 @ 01:05 AM EDT  
MaryF

This update on the continuing story was on Facebook tonight~~~~~


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~ Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine Falcon Update ~

By now most of you are aware that all four young falcons jumped from the nest box at Great Spirit Bluff on June 17th. They were approximately 10 days away from fledging. Searchers were only able to find one of four falcons. Bob evaluated Jonathon, a male, and decided to augment/foster Jonathon into another nest box rather than risk having him jump out again. He chose Red Wing Grain as the new site, since the two young falcons there are about the same age as Jonathon. We fostered Jonathon on the morning of June 19th and he seems to have adapted quite well to his new surroundings.

We chose not to continue the search after the first night. Like many young animals, the falcons either hide or try to scurry under cover when they hear threats approaching. We didn't want to drive them so deep in into the undergrowth that Michelle and Travis couldn't reach them. Since then, we have heard the young falcons calling from the area below the nest box, and we have witnessed Michelle and Travis carrying what appears to be prey down below. We hope to see the young falcons at the nest box or on the ledge again, but only time will tell.

We have received numerous questions regarding the nest box at Great Spirit Bluff. Is it a safe box? It is. In the Midwest alone, over 1,000 falcons have been produced at nest boxes that use this design, which provides shelter from the weather and perches for sitting. Netting under the boxes is out of the question, since the falcons would snag their talons, and holes or venting in the side of the boxes to let in wind would also let in rain and snow.

Absent external stimuli, Bob has never seen young falcons jump from a nest box or cliff as they did at Great Spirit Bluff. He believes that insects caused the young falcons to stampede from the box. Just a few weeks ago, 17 of 20 adult whooping cranes in central Wisconsin deserted their eggs due to black flies, as reported in the Wausau Daily Herald. http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/articl ... rane-nests

Please refer to this blog post for more information about insects, intervention, and fosterage: http://raptorresource.blogspot.com/2013 ... f-falcons- intervention.html

Although we knew the gnats and black flies were bad, we were unable to intervene earlier, since that would most likely have caused the young falcons to jump before they had developed their flight feathers. In short, the risk of injury or death was higher if we went to the box than if we did not. This was an unusual and unfortunate situation. We haven't seen it before and we hope never to see it again.

To view the Red Wing Falcons, click on this link, and then choose Red Wing Grain Falcons from the left side and click on that link: http://www.farmyou.com/falcon_cams/index.html. This cam may not always be available, since it has limited bandwidth.

A big thank you to the Howe family for responding so quickly, climber Dan for last minute assistance, and the staff of Red Wing Grain for letting us foster a falcon into their box on very short notice. Bob made a difficult decision in a stressful situation, but he made it in the best interests of Jonathan, who is thriving in his new home.



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By: MaryF (offline) on Monday, June 24 2013 @ 11:41 PM EDT  
MaryF

An update on Jonathon~~~~


Raptor Resource Project

~ Jonathon is Doing Very Well at Red Wing Grain ~


For those of you wondering how Jonathon is doing, the young Peregrine falcon recovered from Great Spirit Bluff, he is doing very well since being fostered into a new nest box at Red Wing Grain. He seems to have adapted well to his new surroundings, he is eating good, and he is interacting very well with his new nest mates. Jonathon is in the middle in both of these screen captures from yesterday. When viewing the cam, it's a bit easier to tell which one Jonathon is right now, as his feathers are grown in a bit more than the other two. We'll do our best to provide updates when possible.

To view the Red Wing Grain cam, click on this link, and then choose Red Wing Grain on the left side of the page and click on that:
http://www.farmyou.com/falcon_cams/index.html

Click on image to download



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By: MaryF (offline) on Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 02:43 PM EDT  
MaryF

A wonderful update on the Great Spirit Bluff falcon babies!!! Clapping


Raptor Resource Project


~ June 25th Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine Falcon Update ~


Jonathon fledged on June 25th! It was noticeable yesterday that only two falcons remained in the nest box at Red Wing Grain, where Jonathon was fostered, so Mr. Howe (GSBDweller) drove to Red Wing and got photos showing Jonathon after his successful fledge. His two female nest mates are still in the nest box. This photo is Jonathon at Red Wing Grain.

To view the other photos that Mr. Howe took, you can click on this link:
http://s1249.photobucket.com/user/GSBDw ... t=3&page=1

In other good news, we also have video of one, possibly two, of the falcons that had fallen from the nest box on June 17th at Great Spirit Bluff, that have now fledged and can be seen flying in the area below the nest box. Here is a video highlight of one or two of them flying:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34938053 ... ght/375429

We'll do our best to keep everyone updated. Congratulations to the Great Spirit Bluff fledglings! And thanks to Mr. Howe for the photos.

Click on image to download -- photo courtesy of and property of Mr. Howe



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By: MaryF (offline) on Thursday, June 27 2013 @ 10:14 PM EDT  
MaryF

News tonight about the young falcon they thought they saved! Grin ~~~

Raptor Resource Project

~Surprises Abound At GSB ~

From GSBDweller:

"Not only did we capture this amazing video of one of our fledgling falcons reaching the nest box area, we also discovered that we misidentified the falcon recovered on 6/17/13. Stolt was relocated to Red Wing and we are seeing Jonathon at GSB. It looks like Jonathon thinks he is part bat the way he clings onto that wall. Later in the video, M or T comes up onto the nest box with food."

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34938053 ... ght/375429

So at this point, Stolt has fledged from Red Wing Grain, Jonathan is fledging at GSB, and we are waiting to see if Mandy and/or Toni have survived. Young male falcons get their flight feathers earlier than females, so it isn't surprising that Jonathan showed up first.

Thanks to GSBDweller for getting the band number! While we can't quite figure out how Stolt was misidentified, I'm pretty sure that flustration played a major part. We are glad the mistake was caught.



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By: MaryF (offline) on Monday, July 01 2013 @ 11:48 PM EDT  
MaryF

More great news about the Great Spirit bluff babies who fell from the nest box ~~~


Raptor Resource Project

~ Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine Falcon Fledglings, 7/1 ~


Here's a photo of two of the young falcon fledglings perched together at Great Spirit Bluff from this afternoon. I happened to be lucky enough to get a screen capture when they both turned around and were looking in the direction of the camera. I don't know for sure which two are in this photo but we believe we have seen three flying around, two for sure. Females are a bit slower to fledge since they are larger, which results in a few extra days for feather growth. Stolt fledged from Red Wing Grain, and will most likely remain in that location.

Here's the cam link:
http://www.ustream.tv/greatspiritblufffalcons


Click on image to download



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