The FalconCam project, Orange NSW

This started out as an observation of a pair of peregrine falcons, fairly young ones, who had been spotted flying around the 50m high water tower on campus at Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW. Very quickly it was suggested that a roosting box of sorts be built and fitted, in case they were interested in hanging around.

As luck would have it they took to the roost immediately and used their vantage point, looking right across the countryside to the town of Orange, to keep an eye on the hunting grounds.

The female flying in for a graceful landing
The female flying in for a graceful landing

For months they made use of the roost, and for a brief time a very young peregrine was introduced to it but has since been driven away, it seems.

About July of 2008 the pair seemed to have disappeared, most probably due to the disruptions, noise and vibrations coming from the new Dentistry building going on down below, very close by. But to our surprise they re-appeared regularly early October and showed plenty of signs that they were ready to settle down.

Interest ramped up, both IP web cameras seemed to be happy to monitor, and the pair began their house-cleaning duties and rustling of the gravel on the floor.

From about the 20th October the female, who was obviously puffed up and ready to begin dropping eggs, began to appear more urgent and agitated (rightly so!). On the morning of the 23rd October she seemed very happy to settle down in the roost, so a couple of us climbed the tower to see first-hand through an observation hole, as well as re-set the internal camera that has caused us plenty of grief by constantly falling over every few days. To our delight the thumb went up and the first egg was sighted!!

This is the diary, albeit begun late in the piece, to monitor our favourite birds of prey, who incidentally have still not been named…..

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