Email from a Project Supporter

“Hi Scott,

I have become somewhat obsessed with watching these beautiful birds in their daily routine (when I can contact your server). Is there a simple way of identifying which bird is Beau and which is Swift?

I tend to watch in the morning prior to going to work (6-7:30) (sic NSW local time) and logging in again in the early evening. It is simply magic to have this opportunity to observe their lives in their own environment.



Newcastle NSW”

………………….(Reply:¬†¬† )

“Hi Greg,

Thanks very much for your email and your ongoing interest in FalconCam Project. It’s been a fascinating and privileged few years watching Beau and Swift, and all their offspring.

Identifying between Beau and Swift can sometimes prove awkward. Peregrines are sexually dimorphic, meaning the female is of larger build than the male by up to a 1/3rd (at times). Prior to these two new HD cameras we had a really hard time picking them apart when on their own in the eyrie, but now we’re able to better identify them; we’re mighty proud of our new video capability! Indeed Beau has brighter¬† yellow feet and cere (across his beak), than does Swift who is a much larger bird and generally has less defined feather lines. Over the years we’ve also become accustomed to their individual personalities and find that Beau has quite the unknowing sense of humour. Very little bothers him and indeed if we’ve ever made any changes to the eyrie it’s been Beau who has taken to whatever we’ve done immediately, whereas Swift is extremely cautious and very protective. A year or two back she swooped on my Project colleague, Cilla Kinross, out under the water tower, and noiselessly and at high speed shot past Cilla’s head while protecting her domain!! We all learnt lessons that day and put up signs around campus now during breeding season!!

Apologies for the streaming issues you’re having. Indeed we’re aware of the problems with the current “test” config. The streaming server is on its last legs and as we’re a voluntary project we basically upgrade as we find any funding, and of course our own time. The streaming server actually has an upgrade model being tested as we speak, on a fairly new computer with a much better pedigree and much faster processor; you can imagine the processor load of two hi-def camera feeds being streamed 24/7 on an 11-year old computer! Stay tuned – with some luck this new unit will improve reliability, and we’re also researching a new and more powerful streaming software package too (again low budget, through necessity).

We’ve got some amazing supporters all over the world and really appreciate all the feedback we can get, good and not so good (if necessary!). Great to be a part of a worldwide community of study on these incredible birds and we feel extremely privileged to be able to get so close to them without disturbing their lives. We’ll keep bringing their daily diary to the world for as long as we can!

Cheers, thanks once more, any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us either via the website or by email.

FalconCam Project
Orange NSW “

(email reproduced with permission from Project supporter)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *