Tag Archives: Blackflies

Great Spirit Bluff: What’s going on and why don’t we remove the nest box?

June 15, 2022: A falcon below the bluff at Great Spirit Bluff

After three young falcons jumped out of the box at GSB yesterday, some followers are asking us to remove the nest box entirely. But based on our history, removing the box would make the site even more likely to fail. Here’s an explanation of Great Spirit Bluff’s successes, failures, and why we installed the nest box to begin with. Ledges, Raccoons, and Nest Boxes Back in 2003, RRP founder Bob Anderson was trying to figure out why a large cliff

June 14, 2022: Fall at Great Spirit Bluff

June 14, 2022: Falcon falls from Great Spirit Bluff

The falcons at Great Spirit Bluff have jumped out of the box. We originally thought that we were seeing some exploratory behavior, but it looks like the blackflies drove the youngest falcon out before the older two. We’ve been asked if we plan to go down and rescue them. For now, we’re leaving them alone. It is our experience that falcon parents will take care of their young by flying into the understory to find, feed, and defend them. We

Is Mom Decorah okay?

July 12, 2019: Mom Decorah

We got a nice, long look at Mom on Tuesday, which led to a lot of worried questions about her appearance. What was that dark mark beneath her chin? What’s going on with her face? Is she going to leave her territory? Here’s what we know. What’s going on with Mom’s face? In a word: Blackflies. John Howe and Neil Rettig captured several flies from Red-tailed Hawks near Neil’s home in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. A professor at Clemson University


Black Fly (Simulium)

As watchers know, several of our nests were impacted by blackflies this year. This blog answers some of your questions, looks at the correlation between water flow and hatch at Great Spirit Bluff, and discusses options.  Are blackflies/buffalo gnats/turkey gnats an old problem that we’re just seeing now thanks to technology and interest, or an emergent threat driven by habitat improvement and climate change-induced extreme weather patterns? Perhaps a little bit of both. While blackflies have been known to parasitize

Falcon Carson jumps at Great Spirit Bluff

Carson, the remaining falcon at Great Spirit Bluff, jumped from his nest box this afternoon. He was 30 days old, or roughly eight days younger than the youngest age we might expect fledge. Although we treated the box and had a fan blowing, we think the black flies probably became overwhelming, causing him to bolt. He landed in the brush and appears to be fine. We’ve seen Michelle and Newman take care of young below the bluff previously, so we’re