-------------------------- Snow, 2012
Snow fledged safely Snow fledged - 43 days old Snow, Cilla Snow being weighed, measured Snow - Day 38 Snow - Day 24 Snow on the alert Beau and egg (pre-Snow) A regal Beau in residence Snow - Day 3
-------------------------- Narrambla, 2011
Narrambla still there 2 Narrambla still there Narrambla released 3 Narrambla released 2 Narrambla released Narrambla in care 2 Narrambla in care Narrambla 3 Narrambla 2 Narrambla 1

Hullo all! Just a quick note furthering the previous post. This version of the FalconCam Project website finally has a Use By date – next Friday 3rd June 2022.

Get ready to change your bookmarks over. The new website url should be

https://science-health.csu.edu.au/falconcam/home

It’s still being tested but should be good to go in a fortnight. The big website changeover is happening at what is probably the “optimal” slot in the falcon’s yearly cycle; just in time for the beginning of the courtship period in the skies and trees around campus!

The two older live web YouTube streams will remain as they are now but will also be updated shortly. There will be notes left on both feeds advising of such, so no one gets lost.

Best wishes to all.peregrine falcon clipart

News Leak!……. To all our avid supporters over the years the Project team, now centred around Dr Cilla Kinross and the web team at CSU, will shortly be able to unveil the new FalconCam Project website. It will be based inside the CSU network but made available to the world (but don’t tell them I told you!!). More details via Cilla soon….

When the new website goes live we will retire this current website, which has served us very well over the long period from when we began in 2008 until 2022.

The two original live cameras will continue to operate through YouTube, alongside the new feeds through Cilla’s account. We will straighten out and standardise the actual streaming sources in time, in line with CSU’s requirements and infrastructure.

And just before I depart the Project I thought I’d get a few last words in before they shut me up and kick me out of the roost!!!…..

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in one form or another since we began the Project all those years ago.

We kicked off with valuable input & inspiration from former staff member Dr Ian Grange, who initially came to the IT department asking about the use of live cameras, and then, later on, valued for his scouting work in visiting like minds around Great Britain, once he moved back home. Ian left us just days before Migii, our first local eyas, hatched!

To Ron Green, from the Orange campus maintenance facility, who built all sorts of infrastructure and hauled it all up the 50-meter high water tower (normally by himself). And to the campus staff who helped de-construct and rebuild the jigsaw puzzle that was/is Roost v2.0, inside a lunchtime many years ago.

To the huge number of supporters from nearby, to right around the world, who have donated their hard-earned cash to help keep the voluntary Project functional and live on the Internet – we can’t thank each and every one of you enough.

To the Nature Conservation Trust, and in particular their dedicated staff members, Denise and Tiffany, who were right behind our every step. Vocal supporters and regular holders of fund-raising BBQs.

To 30 Squadron RAAF Beaufighter group who supported us financially so well in the Project’s early days; a fantastic bunch of people with more stories to tell of their inspiring wartime exploits than any amount of stories we could tell them about falcons!

To the TV and radio stations who supported the Project and made sure word (& vision) beamed out to the NSW nether regions and around Australia; in particular a big thank you to both Angela Owens and Kia Handley at ABC Central West radio!

To my colleague, Dr Cilla Kinross, for her endless energy, knowledge and enthusiasm over the years, with support at public functions such as the Field Days at Mudgee, Rotary Orange Daybreak, various fairs in and around Orange, the fundraisers, the on-campus talks etc.

I’ll bow out now, having devoted some years to witnessing these amazing birds of prey flourish on our local doorstep, and bringing their vision and lives to the rest of you. All different characters, young and old, and all VERY fast! Thank you to all for your support over the years, and may the FalconCam Project in Orange NSW endure over the next many years, providing valuable data and statistics to the global understanding of the peregrine falcon.

Scott Banks

(Cilla has my email address if anyone wanted to keep in touch)

Xavier was in the box, hoping to sneak another night in the nest, when Diamond arrived and upset his plans!  Note that it’s about 20 minutes long, at normal, so feel free to skip through, but don’t miss the last five minutes!

 

One of our follows (Bilby) has kindly created a jigsaw puzzle or two.   Go to the site below and select how many pieces you want to use (32 = easy, more = more difficult).   Thanks, Bilby!  Will move to new website when it’s ready.

https://www.jigsawplanet.com/flyhigh/falconcam-puzzles

You’ll need to cut and paste it as it doesn’t come up as a hyperlink.

And here is the screenshot that one of them is based on:  Xavier and kestrel, if I’m not mistaken.

 

 

You will be pleased to hear that Charles Sturt University has agree to help set up a new website and we are hoping to transfer at least part of the information stored here to the new site.  It will take a little time to get this organised, so please be patient. 

Diamond arrives in the middle of the night after thunderstorms and soaking wet.  Unfortunately, she misjudges her arrival, landing on the upper ledge and flipping upside-down, being unable to free herself for several seconds.   She arrrives a bit later to dry off.

 

 

 

The reason for this is that many birds, especially raptors, have a perching reflex – where the toes lock onto a perch. If they flip upside down, it is difficult for them to relax their tendons to release them. The falcons often misjudge their landings at night, but I’ve never seen one latch on to the upper ledge before.

If you are interested in learning more about this locking mechanism, there is a short, interesting article with diagrams here:   https://www.raptorresource.org/2021/01/22/racheting-raptor-toes-an-upside-down-eagle-at-great-spirit-bluff/

After about a year of negotiating, some nagging and fund-raising, we finally have our new view – a cam pointed at the tower, so you can watch the peregrines flying around, and possibly see other birds, like this welcome swallow.

welcome swallow trying out the new cam

 

Here is the link to the live cam  https://youtu.be/qviBDtG9-gg

And a link (thanks, Birdie Cam) to the first video of peregrines landing on the tower

 

thanks to all those who made this possible: Paul Carpenter who donated the cam (which was originally used to record the construction of the new medical faculty);  the IT team, particularly Jason Lyons, Luke Blewett and Ayden Beeson, who went way beyond their normal duties and work hours to make this happen; and last but by no means least all those wonderful people who donated to the FalconCam Project, which enabled the cam to be linked to the CSU network, saving the project the cost of ongoing data transfer.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year !

Cilla Kinross

One of our followers has made a lovely tribute video to Yurruga. Thanks, Simoninna.

 

https://youtu.be/8r0lHJ0f3I4

 

Just to let you know that I am scaling back the daily searches for Yurruga.  I last saw him on a roof on 25 November (three days after fledging) and he was seen later the same day by a colleague in the same place during a thunderstorm.

After a week and two days of no sightings, I have to conclude that Yurruga has had a mishap, probably while flying in poor weather, which was atrocious last week.   I have looked everywhere there is open space to see if he crash landed, but nothing.   Around the campus, there are extensive areas of dense vegetation, either long grass or close plantings, making detection difficult.

This is a very sad outcome for the chick, who, although slight underdeveloped in his plumage, clearly wanted to fledge, and, at 45 days, so did his parents, who lured him out with prey.   The average fledge age at this site is  42 days, slightly younger for males.   His wing exercising and appetite were excellent, so, given good weather, there was no reason why his flying skills couldn’t have improved quickly.  But continual thunderstorms would have hampered that progress and also made hunting difficult for his parents.

It is especially unfortunate as it was the only egg that hatched (one was unfertilised; the other fertilised, but undeveloped ie no chick had formed).   One (the fertilsed one) exploded after candling….the other is going to the Australian Museum.

Eggs fertilised (opaque/dark) and unfertilised (transparent/red)

This was the unfertilised egg, the other exploded (yes, all over me).

Let’s hope for a better season next year, but one must remember that these parents are not getting any younger.   They are at least at eight or nine years old and could be considerably older as we don’t know how old they were when they arrived.   Peregrines do tend to lose fertility as they age, but some keep going reproducing strongly until sixteen or seventeen, so one can’t be sure of what will happen.

May 2022
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Season 8 2015 (1)

Diamond and her first egg Bula's first sight of first egg Bula's first sight of first egg Diamond and her first egg Diamond and her first egg Diamond and her first egg Diamond and her first egg Diamond taking a break

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