Long nights in the eyrie

It appears Swift is spending longer evenings and nights in the eyrie. With plenty of activity around the tower and trees Beau is paying attention, while Swift seems to be struggling. Fingers crossed for news from the Concrete Hilton soon! The cameras are running well and plenty of campus staff are reporting aerial interaction.

We’re currently looking at upgrading our data storage capability for the observation & surveillance server, as this time of the year the total storage is taken up very quickly with so much motion-activated eyrie activity. It doesn’t give us more than a few days of footage at a time, in high-definition, before we lose it. We run 1 x 2TB hard drive per camera, at a fairly high frame rate per second and will be looking at larger data storage options, such as employing a NAS unit.

Swift at night
Swift at night

16 thoughts

    1. Hi Wendy,
      The idea of struggling was more just about how she’s coping with what we presume is a set of eggs developing and getting ready to drop. It can’t be comfortable. Swift seems to be taking more time in the eyrie in the past couple of weeks, and has “rehearsed” with her scrape on occasions (fortunately a spot further away from the nest camera, giving us a perfect view!). We shall begin to upload some more HD video clips as progress happens.
      Thanks for your inquiry and keep watching!
      Scott

  1. The female is going through egg lethargy. She sort of slows down, does less hunting of her own and spends more time near/in the scrape, sleeping a lot.
    Swift does look a little ruffled right now and she moves not as easily as usual it seems.
    Haven’t had a good look at her “rear end” yet to see if that is fluffed up more. (We falcon nuts call that looking pregnant) 😉

  2. Been observing Swift on & off during her sleep, first on the ledge & then in the corner of the box! She became restless at one stage & was sleeping in an upright hunched position & I wondered whether she might pop out an egg …. but no! Now it is morning again for you & she has flown off after sitting on the ledge for a while!

  3. September 1st, still no egg. Swift is sleeping and preening in the doorway.
    She is late this year, could cold weather be a factor ?

  4. To add to my previous question, are they the same pair as the ones which promoted you to set up site in 2007 & then live webcams? Have started to read from the start but it takes a while!!

  5. Hi Wendy,
    Far as we can tell Swift will be at least 10 years old now, taking in to account that when we first spotted them another youngster was hanging around and being pushed off by both adults. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe they begin to breed at about 2-3 years of age. Based on markings, personalities (we have some fun stuff on little Beau!), territory rights and that peregrines tend to mate for life (i.e until one or the other dies) we’re of the opinion that this pair has remained the same.
    Good luck reading the archives! There’s a quantity in here now…. and thankyou for your great support. Let’s hope there are not complications for Swift shortly; she is indeed late this season.

  6. Hi Ingrid,
    Good to hear from you again! This winter season has been average, if not drier than usual. No really consistent cold spells for long periods of time but there have indeed been some good frosts lately! It’s an ongoing question which we hope can be answered, but at the moment there’s been nothing certain about why she’s late….. unless we can blame little Beau again??!! We’ll check with local bird experts as to whether there’s been any noticeable trend.
    Thanks for keeping in touch!

  7. Usually Peregrine Falcons are fully mature and ready to breed at 2 years but we have seen cases where a 1 year old bird, both female and male, have had a first successful nest.
    If and when this couple is the same as in 2007 (archive) they are at least 8 or 9 years old.
    There are Peregrines that reach very old age, the oldest known wild PeFa was in the USA, 21 years if I remember correctly.
    This season (Northern hemisphere) we have seen a couple of older females struggle with nesting, failing to produce viable eggs or no eggs at all. They are well over 10 years so Swift has still a couple of good years ahead, normally speaking.
    PeFa’s do seem to have something you could call menopause, they court, mate but don’t produce eggs any more.
    Famous were Freedom and Roosevelt in Fort Wayne-Indiana (USA). Their last clutch was in 2007 but they remained the residing couple at the nest site until April 2011, when Roosevelt disappeared. Freedom stayed at her site until March 2012. By that time first a young appeared and a few weeks later an immature female came on the scene. Freedom was last seen on camera on March 18 2012. She was later found dead on a roof nearby, no signs of a fight, it seems she died of old age.
    Her family tree is impressive: http://www.peregrinefalcon-bcaw.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=60
    She and Roosevelt contributed greatly to the restoration of the PeFa’s in the USA

  8. Thanks for all that interesting info Ingrid, wow, some family tree! Juanita is a dedicated person to have investigated all the falcons & their joys/mishaps! Fingers crossed now for Swift to lay a couple of viable eggs!

  9. Hi Scott; great to “see” you. Our season is just getting over here in western Canada and now, a lot of our viewers will “silently” be watching on your Sturt University site. Pass word on from all of us Canadians & Americans for Beau & Swift to “hurry up” and get at it !! Time is a-wasting. LoL

  10. First egg !!! At 9.47 am
    Congratulations to Swift, Beau and all the dedicated watchers (and who were getting nervous these past few days ) 😀

  11. YIPPEE, we’ve seen the first egg here in England about 1.00 am our time … such a fabulous event! When I was observing Swift a couple hours ago, after she stashed the latest food offering from Beau & went to nest hollow, I was sure she was acting different & willing her to lay an egg! I got out of bed & rushed to desktop PC which was logged on to the nestcam & although the image had frozen, it was just as the egg was emerging, marvellous sight! Glad all your hard work has paid dividends!

    1. Thanks Wendy, and I’d pass on your best to the happy couple except I have a feeling I’d be chewed up pretty badly right now! It’s great news to get this first one laid, but let’s hope there are more to come. Thanks for your persistence and relatively sleepless nights lately too! When we need to shut eyes it’s good to know others are watching for us! More video clips to come later today… thanks again. Oh and, your camera stream may have frozen because we reboot the streaming server every hour to ward off potential jam-ups. By regularly rebooting we keep much larger issues at bay. This is more of an issue during peak times, such as right now. Apologies if it cut in to an important moment there!
      Scott

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