Mar 09 2008

Our birds on Camera

Published by at 12:00 pm under Peregrines

Dorothy and Erie at Pitt nest - but is it Erie?This spring I’m learning a lot about peregrine courtship, thanks to the Aviary’s webcam at the Pitt nest box.

Behind the scenes, the camera is sending snapshots to a server when it detects motion at the nest.  For the first time I’ve been able to see how often the peregrines visit the nest and what they do while they’re there.

The surprise to me was how often Dorothy visits when the weather is good and how quick her visits can be.  Sometimes she’s there less than 30 seconds.  Another surprise was how often the pair arrives to bow in courtship at the scrape.

Our web department put the snapshots in a slideshow so you can see the birds in action.  Click here or on the photo to see the show.  (You may need to allow pop-ups on your web browser.)

The slideshow moves fast to give you a sense of motion, but not the same speed as the snapshots were taken – one snap every 15 seconds.  If you leave your cursor in the slides’ area, captions will appear for some of the photos.  Near the end, Dorothy appears headless in one snapshot because she is preening behind her wing.  Talk about a flexible neck!

Later this month the Aviary will switch the falconcam website from displaying snapshots to a live motion video feed, almost like TV.

Stay tuned – and keep watching the Aviary webcam for updates.

To read more of my blog entries on peregrines, click here.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Our birds on Camera”

  1. Dougon 09 Mar 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Hi-I photographed a large bird of prey outside my house in Squirrel Hill this past November. May I send you a picture for identification?

  2. Alice Cottoneon 09 Mar 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Dear Kate,
    Thank you for this wonderful look at the most beautiful birds!

  3. mon@rchon 09 Mar 2008 at 9:31 pm

    How great the aviary is doing this! Thanks for passing along the info!

  4. Ed Shotton 11 Mar 2008 at 3:16 pm


    The Gulf Tower bird has laid her first egg.

  5. joe lawloron 09 Apr 2008 at 11:07 am

    I started watching last year and can not get enough of it wow great job when do you think the eggs will start hatching. and any other news on erie.

  6. Kate StJon 11 Apr 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Eggs at the Univ of Pittsburgh will hatch around April 30 – plus or minus a few days.

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