Mar 10 2010


Published by at 7:23 am under Peregrines

Pittsburgh’s peregrines will soon lay eggs.  I know this because the females won’t sleep at the nest until they’re a week or two away from their first egg – and here they are last night.

Pictured at left is Dorothy at the University of Pittsburgh before dawn this morning, illuminated by the webcam’s infrared light.  She was sleeping on her perch and woke to preen just as twilight began.  As the sky got brighter she called to rouse her mate, E2.  Twenty minutes later she left the perch even though it was still dark.  Perhaps she saw him fly away to get her breakfast.

Meanwhile, before dawn at the Gulf Tower, Tasha2 was puttering on the ramp in front of the nestbox when she heard her mate call to her.  She replied with faint “ee-chups” and Louie called again.  Soon she walked up the ramp and waited in the nest scrape at the back of the box.  She was waiting for breakfast.

As female peregrines approach egg laying time, their mates provide their food.  For the males this is a heavy responsibility that comes at the same moment when they must defend their territories against intruders.  Only a strong male peregrine can fulfill all these tasks — and this is only the start.  When the eggs hatch he provides food for the entire family until the chicks are beyond the brooding stage.

You, too, can see and hear Pittsburgh’s peregrines at their nests.  Click here for the Cathedral of Learning webcam and here for the Gulf Tower webcam.  Because there are infrared lights, you can watch them both night and day.

(photos from the National Aviary peregrine webcams at the Cathedral of Learning and the Gulf Tower)

p.s. If your computer can’t stream, watch the snapshot camera at Pitt that refreshes every 15 seconds.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Vigil”

  1. Kathy McCharenon 10 Mar 2010 at 8:54 am

    Great pictures, Kate! It’s such an exciting time for peregrine lovers…

    I’m very sorry to report that I still can’t get into the webcams. I tried to link from your Blog this am at 7:59 and I just got the big revolving circle until 8:30 when I closed the two windows. I’m happy to watch the still picture but I couldn’t even get to it.

    I was always able to watch in past years so I don’t think it’s related to my computer. And I was able to get in a couple of times yesterday (but the little revolving circle was nearly always present too).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to miss the coming activities!

  2. Candyon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:10 am

    I also had some trouble getting into the Cathedral of Learning site this morning it
    took several tries to get past the revolving circle.
    Kate, now that the females are sleeping at the nest is there any estimate of when they may lay the first egg? What signs should we watch for that will give us a clue that a egg will soon be laid?

  3. Kate St. Johnon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:11 am

    Try this:
    Close ALL your web browser windows (Internet Explorer, Firefox, whatever). You could even reboot to make sure. Then open only this snapshot link:
    If you see the time code change after 15 seconds, the snapshot is working for you.

    To test the stream: Open only ONE of the two streaming cam links and click on the arrow to start streaming. You should see the stream in less than 15 seconds.
    NOTE that the stream stays active in the background even if you aren’t seeing it so it chews up your computer’s resources. This problem compounds if you never close your web browser or if you open multiple streaming windows.

    If the stream still doesn’t work it may be a problem that can help you with. If you have a MAC there might be other issues I’m unaware of.

  4. Kate St. Johnon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hmmm. Maybe there was so much traffic that the sites didn’t come up right away.

  5. Kate St. Johnon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:25 am

    When will they lay eggs?
    Tasha2 at the Gulf Tower normally lays her first egg between March 10 and March 17. On average her first egg is March 13th.

    Dorothy at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning normally lays her first egg between March 18 and March 29. On average her first egg is March 24th.

    Sometimes they lay their eggs at night so you’ll have to keep a vigil of your own.

  6. Patsyon 10 Mar 2010 at 10:27 am

    Kate, regarding the inability of some of us to view the webcams from the Aviary link, I talked with Mr. Katzner the other day, and at his request, I sent him information regarding my browser, internet provider, and such, and he was going to forward it to see if a solution to this problem can be found. In the meantime, I am able to watch the webcams thru the Wildearth.TV site. This is an option that others may use also. Simply go to the Wildearth.TV website and links to the live cameras are available. Am looking forward to watching the falcons again this year, especially with the audio option. Hopefully this information will help.

  7. Tracion 10 Mar 2010 at 11:08 am

    I can’t get to the cams either this morning. It just shows that circle with the play button and sometimes it connects sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not my internet connection as I can watch other cams – just the Aviary’s doesn’t work.

    Also, can’t they pull the camera back a bit at the COL? We can’t see the back of the box and watch, when the cams work, when they bow to each other or watch her make the indentation in the gravel.

    I was also disapointed to see that the ads are going to be a part of the Aviary’s view. I realize they are necessary to fund the cams, but they are so incredibly annoying. And sometimes when you click on the x to get rid of them – the whole thing stops and then you have to hit refresh. Annoying.

  8. Kate St. Johnon 10 Mar 2010 at 11:22 am

    The Pitt streaming cam is moved back as far as it goes… it either sees the perch or the back of the box, not both. The Aviary does not have remote access to the camera yet. When they do they will adjust the position for egg laying.

  9. faith Cornellon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Oh this new camera is great. I am a person who is computer illerate & am very happy to report that I have had no trouble viewing falcons. I really think it was just a lucky accident. Faith Cornell

  10. Mary Jo Bermanon 11 Mar 2010 at 9:59 am

    Kate –
    thanks for the links. This morning between 9 and 9:30 I was able to see and HEAR falcons at both sites.

    Now my mission is to find a video capture product so I can share the videos with my friends and family.

  11. jpb513on 11 Mar 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I’m so sad that the Pitt cam is positioned as it is. She’s laid an egg (or two, who knows?). I can’t see it.

  12. Kate St. Johnon 12 Mar 2010 at 6:18 am

    Oh my, yes! She laid an egg overnight. There’s a second camera where you can see from another angle, here ==>

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