Tag Archives: Unusual

How long do peregrine falcons live?

Peregrine falcon Michelle at fifteen years old

How long do peregrine falcons live and/or reproduce? This question was inspired by a discussion in the Midwest banding group last week. Jackie Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society shared a Facebook post about Hunter, a 21-year old male peregrine falcon who was rescued in Toronto, Canada. Hunter is the oldest known wild-producing falcon in North America: https://www.facebook.com/Canadian-Peregrine-Foundation-149280041803853/. The Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project followed up with the story of Princess, a 19-year old falcon who was rescued in Winnipeg,

What’s going on at Great Spirit Bluff?

June 9, 2021: Zooey sits up high to brood

What’s going on at Great Spirit Bluff? Why isn’t Zooey feeding her young? Why doesn’t Newman taken over? And what’s up with Zooey’s shuffling? We turned to Board member and Gyrfalcon breeder Jim Robison to help answer your questions. Although it isn’t true in every case, first time falcon mothers are more likely to be reticent about feeding, to fumble food, to eat dropped food, and/or to feed inappropriately-sized bites to their hungry young. Zooey stashed and prepared food and

News, nestflix, and itsy-bitsy spiders!

March 15, 2021: Mr. North incubates eggs during the March 15 storm.

Snow, snow, go away! Mr. North and DNF rode the storm out after six inches of snow fell on the North nest. We’re looking forward to warmer, drier weather for the rest of the week, which should melt the snow fast: a good thing, since we think hatch will start here in about 13 days! In the meantime, we’ve got wonderful close-ups of the two incubating, nice looks at the eggs, date night, and an itsy bitsy spider piggybacking on

Nothing Goes to Waste

March 16, 2021: Ma and Pa Jr. on the nest, Fort St. Vrain, Platteville CO

Xcel Energy’s Fort St. Vrain eagles rode the big storm out last weekend. Despite an astonishing twelve or so inches of snow, Ma kept the eggs covered through most of it. Male and female eagles both incubate eggs, but females usually cover the nest at night and through bad weather. A female eagle’s larger body size and brood patch helps her stay still for longer periods of time and apply more heat to the eggs and young beneath her. Unfortunately,

March 9, 2021: Territorial Battle At Great Spirit Bluff

March 9, 2021: Territorial battle at Great Spirit Bluff

On March 9 at about 6:37am central time, GSB watchers witnessed a peregrine falcon territorial battle. Resident female Nova came back after a three-day absence and drove interloper Nina away. After ousting Nina, Nova copulated with Newman and disappeared again. Are the falcons okay? Neither falcon appeared to have been seriously injured in the fight. We zoomed in on Nova’s eyes – our primary concern – and they appeared to be fine. Either Nina or Nova could come back to

2020 Newsletter, Featured Partner: Great River Energy

Newsletter 2020: Brenda Geisler holds a nestling falcon

When Great River Energy decided to close its Elk River facility, Brenda Geisler, a 20-year Great River Energy employee and resident raptor expert, immediately started work on relocating the plant’s nest box. “A lot of co-ops are experiencing plant retirements and a lot have peregrine nests,” she says. “Moving this nest is a way to keep this a legacy for this plant and others.” To find the right accommodations in time for the birds’ 2020 return, Geisler assembled a 24-member

What is that bird? It’s a black-bellied whistling duck!

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck on the Flyway Cam in Lake Onalaska/Pool Seven of the Mississippi River

We spotted a black-bellied whistling duck on our Flyway Cam on Monday, August 10th! They are cavity nesters who usually form gregarious flocks of up to 1000 birds, although this one was alone. It was also far, far out of its usual range. E-Bird shows just a handful of sightings in Wisconsin! The Flyway cam is getting busy now and we are seeing a lot of great species. You can watch that cam (and chat!) here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/flyway-cam/. Click the images

Dr. Laura on Mom’s Eye

January 29, 2020: Mom's eye up close

Thanks to our camera operators’ diligent work and John’s high-powered cameras, we got some excellent photos of Mom’s right eye today! We forwarded them to Dr. Laura, who said: I think that what we are seeing is a scar on the cornea; the cornea becomes opaque instead of clear when it’s been damaged. It does appear slightly raised, which is a bit unusual, so she could also have a foreign object (a small piece of bark, a stick, a grass

Nestflix: Decorah Eagles, Mom’s Eye

January 25, 2020: Mom's right eye

We’ll do a full video roundup tomorrow, but we wanted to share a couple videos from earlier today. We don’t get any close-ups of Mom’s eye, but she is keeping it open a little more than she has been and dragging DM2 all around the nest to boot! Her eye is still sore, but it isn’t discolored, visibly damaged, or leaking fluid. While time will tell, we are hopeful that she is on the mend! Decorah Eagles 1/27/20: Mom returns w/stick,

January 23, 2020: Mom’s Eye

January 23, 2020: Mom closes her eyes

Everyone is concerned about Mom Decorah’s right eye. On January 20th, sharp-eyed watchers let us know that she was keeping her right eye mostly or completely shut. We saw it as well, but didn’t know what was going on. Mom’s eye wasn’t bloody and she was acting like a normal territorial adult eagle. Some rabbit fur lodged in the upper outside corner of her right eye on January 14 and ice appeared to be accumulating on her ‘eyelashes’ or rimal

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