June 28, 2009

Breeding Season Comes to An End for 2009

The second eyass fledged just after the first one and they are now flying about Seattle.

The female came to ground yesterday by the Art Museum but was recovered safely and released back atop the Washington Mutual Tower unharmed.

We have now turned off the camera and are ending the project for this year.

We want to thank all of you who have been avidly following the breeding season as the eyasses grew up on their ledge. We hope that you have enjoyed the experience and learned more about just how incredible these falcons really are.

Next year, we will be raising dollars to purchase new and better cameras for the ledge and, hopefully, a plasma screen for the bank lobby so we can all follow the breeding events in greater detail.

Special thanks are due to Mark Prostor for setting up all the equipment as he does each year for us to see the birds, Ruth Taylor for coordinating the project, and especially to all of our wonderful friends at Wright-Runstad, the building managers at Third and University, including Jeff Kasowski and the incredible Denise Kolb. And to Mario, thanks for taking us over the edge to band!

One final item.....if you find one of the fledglings at ground level in the next week, please call Bud at (360) 757-1911 or (206) 962-7838 or Ruth at (206) 268-2312 or contact security at the Washington Mutual Tower (206) 224-1201.

Thanks.

June 24, 2009

First Eyass has Fledged

Ruth Taylor has alerted me that, indeed, one nestling has taken its first flight and is moving about the downtown area. Watch for it on your building ledges soon.

June 11, 2009

No Worries, The Eyasses Are Fine

Several of you have written in to us about the whereabouts and the well-being of the two eyass peregrines.

No worries.

They are now ambulatory and have moved to the north end of the ledge and out of sight of the camera. They often do this at this stage of their development.

Like all vertebrate youngsters, they like to explore their surroundings and get a new perspective on their world.

Ruth Taylor watched them on the ledge last night and they were fine. They will both be ambling back into view at any time.

Next thing to worry about will be when you seen them perching precariously close to the edge of their ledge, tails overhanging 56 stories of pure void.

Then you will get to encounter some more of these slightly famous surges of "eyass anxiety".

June 6, 2009

Banding Update

On Thursday, 4 June, we banded the two eyass peregrines at the Washington Mutual Tower in downtown Seattle.

The adult female allowed us to approach to within approximately 5 feet of the nest box before she flew, indicating that she is both quite tame and used to the window washing stage.

She is a large peregrine with a very white breast, isolated malar stripe, Peale's peregrine type head, and some limited black streaking in the bib.

As we progressed with the banding of her young, she became protective, of course, but did not really approach too closely and none of us were hit. Next year, I suspect this will be different as they usually become more aggresssive over time.

The female eyass was one of the largest young peregrines that I have banded and was unusually aggressive. She liked to bite and foot me alot. We enjoy seeing this behavior as it indicates she has alot of "fire" in her.

Like her mother, she is big. So she took the largest sized band that we use for peregrines, a USFWS size 7B. Most females are supposed to take a size smaller (7A).

We have been seeing an increase in band size among nestling peregrines for several years now in the San Juan Islands and she is following this trend.

Which brings us to the other bird. This one took a size 7A, normally a female band. But, because of the large size of his sibling, we suspect that the second eyass could actually be an extra large male. They normally take a size 6 band. The only way we can positively tell the true sex would have been to have taken a DNA sample which we did not do.

Each bird also recieved a black VID (visual identification) band. These special bands have a large engraved combination of letters/numbers that can be easily read with a scope or if a bird happens to land outside your window.

The female wears VID band code vertical A over vertical 47. In simpler terms, look for an A over the number 47 on her band.

The second falcon carries the band A over 48.

If you happen to see a falcon with such a band, please write down the letters/numbers and their positions and let us know.

The all important addled egg had been rolled off of the nest box just prior to our visit and had been broken in the short fall to the stone floor. The contents had leaked out and "glued" the egg to the ledge but we were able to retrieve it and will submit it to WSDFW for their archives. Although not suitable for contaminant analysis, it is still valuable for shell thickness measurements.

Thanks to Mario, Frank, Denise and all the wonderful people at Wright-Runstad for making this happen.

June 1, 2009

Banding the Eyasses

With the able assistance of Denise Kolb of Wright Runstad, we will be banding the eyasses on the ledge at WAMU this Thursday.

We use the window washing stage to swing out over the east side of the building and lower us down to the nest ledge 53 stories above street level.

Each eyass will receive a US Fish and Wildlife Service aluminum lock-on band on one leg and a black VID band on the other. The latter may be easily read with a spotting scope to help us identify individual peregrines.

We have done this each year in Seattle and have tracked the whereabouts of many of the eyasses over the years.

Nestlings have shown up on the Washington coast, the Oregon coast, San Francisco and the LA airport. Others have made it as far east as Alberta. In addition, there are several records of banded nestlings from Washington wintering in both Victoria and Vancouver.

In several cases, these bands have allowed us to discover where the nestlings eventually breed as adults.

May 26, 2009

CORRECTION

I recieved the following two e-mails this evening......

From Kanit Cottrell-

"I checked in on the WAMU chicks just in time to see the adult leave and get a good look at the scrape. It appears the dead eyass is in the scrape right next to the egg. Very curious. I don't know how to take a picture, but the time is 1944- 45."

From Barb Livdahl-

"Hello - tonight on the webcam at 7:48 p.m. (Tuesday, 5.26) it appears that the dead eyass is still in the nest as well as the addled egg. "

So the dead eyass was NOT removed from the nest ledge as I had reported earlier. My apologies for this mistake.

Thanks to Kanit and Barb for the correction.

May 21, 2009

Dead Eyass Removed

Michelline reports the following.....

"Hi Bud,
Please see attached (photo) @ 11:14 The dead eyass has been removed.
The two eyasses are fine, handsome and healthy."

Thanks again to the many people out there watching and reporting back to us.