A new supporter to FalconCam Project website, Josie, wrote us a letter today with an interesting point to make. Why not construct a perch outside the window, and some other method to safeguard the eyases from falling?……. Josie, thanks for your email. It’s indeed something we looked at a while back as the adults would use it as well, but logistics counted against it at the time. Currently there’s an existing small ledge which has been handy over the years in keeping the younger ones away from danger. We’ll certainly look at it again though. Aspro was the first fledgling that we’ve ever lost. Between Cilla, myself, and a number of volunteer helpers, we’ve combed every inch of the vast agricultural Orange campus without even a sign of feathers. Aspro went early too and caught us on the hop, so to speak. It’s hard to believe that there’s just not any sign at all. The wind was strong that evening and had a big part to play in Aspro’s early dive. In years past we’ve watched as most of the fledglings have glided out safely on to the soft grassy landing below, albeit with one or two bumps on the way down!
In comparison Beau and Swift and their offspring are pretty lucky with their “Concrete Hilton” eyrie. It’s 100% vermin-proof, sheltered from the worst of the prevailing weather, a stable platform and provides a superb view for them across most of Orange city and surrounds to monitor their hunting grounds. From our perspective it’s perfect as we have brilliant (but very high) access to the box itself, 50 metres up the campus water tower – the envy of many other similar projects around the world. Out in the wild the successful fledging rate is much lower than what we’ve observed so far too, so we’re riding on a pretty good thing.
Off-season we’re going to undertake a fair amount of eyrie and camera maintenance, as well as testing new technology to make the camera streams more browser and device friendly. For example, the Flash technology that we use won’t play on more recent Apple or Android devices. The cameras will probably be down for a few days during anticipated water tower repairs too, but we’re assured we’ll be given plenty of notice beforehand. Lots to do before next season, but Cilla assures me that she’s absorbed enough data now to be able to write some papers (there’s pressure for you, Cilla!).
Thanks again Josie, for bringing up some really good points. Taken on board…
There has been much discussion at many nest sites about an “extra platform / perch” outside the nest boxes to prevent fledglings falling. This would simply extend the area the younsters could fall from with the inevitable happening anyway. It would NOT prevent any falling but would expose the youngsters to additional wind gusts. ~~~ An extension would also add an additional perch for preditors to land on so no firm benefit would be gained by the extra landing / fledging base.
The above is only my opinion, not based on any scientific study. LoL