Bula is missing?

I may be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve recorded a sighting of Bula since 1300 on 30th September ie Friday.   This is not at all a good sign.  As far as I can tell Diamond has not had a feed since then (over two days) and, coupled with the frenzied activity on the Thursday, when I suspected an intruder, and the eggs were only irregularly incubated, I fear the worst.

And I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the box was visited by a strange female today, a very large bird that was instantly chased away (definitely not Bula).    I’d show you some stills, but the software is once again playing up.  I’ll send them to Scott and see if he can upload the stills or a videos.   I went around afterwards to see if I could see this bird again (or Bula) but all was quiet.   It could be an offspring from previous year.

Bad weather (and we’ve had plenty of that) does often lead to reproductive failure and so these problems may stem from difficulty in procuring food (they can’t complain of their nest getting wet!).   Or it may be that something has happened to Bula and he’s no longer able to hunt.

Anyway, let’s hope that I am wrong and that Bula (or another ‘suitable’ male) turns up again.  It’s a pity she isn’t inclined to accept another female, but I don’t think peregrines are that progressive:).  It’s also not unheard of for peregrines to raise a brood on their own, but very unusual and the poor weather (more expected tonight) is definitely not helping.

Fingers crossed.


39 thoughts

  1. Oh Cilla, fingers crossed here too! I can’t even imagine how Diamond could raise three chicks on her own and keep herself fed and healthy as well.

  2. I hope Bula is ok! Its the female who usually does the fighting. Are there owls in the area?

    I have seen big white birds fly past.
    I saw birds outside the day you label – intruder – and I also thot it was an unwanted guest.

    I have observed Diamond very nervous and very wide awake overnite. When she rolls the eggs, she has a very hard time getting back on them again. I sure wish there was sound!

    I eggspected a pip by now.

    We did watch a nest in USA where the male died and she did find a new mate – eventually the eggs hatched – the outcome wasnt nice to watch tho.

    I am in USA and I keep a small window open to watch her.

  3. The big white birds were probably sulphur-crested cockatoos, but I haven’t seen any recently – it would be unlikely for them to be a bother during the breeding season as it is not unknown for cockatoos to end up as dinner.

    We do have owls: small boobook owls and occasionally large barn owls.

    Did you record when you saw birds outside? I have been through all the tapes and didn’t see anything (but it’s easy to miss a fly past), but did see Diamond nervously looking up and around. Could it have been the other female?

  4. I didnt keep track of date-times I saw more than 1 bird outside – smaller than the cocktoos and darker. They flew back n forth outside and Diamond watched but didnt appear alarmed. It was earlier than yesterday but beyond that I dont know. Probably Sept 29 or 30.

    One of the falconistas on our blogs is pretty sure she saw Bula in Arjen’s video.

    Please dont tell anyone – but – everyone knows I cant tell the male from the female unless I see them together. lol

  5. Yes, Diamond has finally had a feed, possibly a pigeon; not sure as it arrived headless and wingless, and I thought I saw a hint of yellow…but I am assuming she caught it herself as she was gone from the box for just over 10 minutes. There is a crack in one of the eggs, but no sign of chicks as yet. Perhaps tonight, but tomorrow is pretty much the last chance for hatching as it would be 33 days.

  6. A lot of movement, changing positions, rolling eggs for the past half hour. I keep having to refresh so I’m sure I’ve missed some of the action!

  7. [img]http://i815.photobucket.com/albums/zz79/skygirlblue09/April%202016/orange381.jpg[/img]

    [b] October 3, 2016 [/b] Shepnotes
    4.45 am USA edt
    7.45 pm Australia

    I saw a hole – OK – pip – in any case – I SAW IT clearly.
    I was tooooooooooo slow to snip it 🙁
    I really wish she had not moved eggs almost under cam – cant see

    [b]Pics by sky on bcaw[/b] –
    11:46 Oz – Diamond leaves eggs unattended,
    10 minutes later she returns, with food and Stashed it in the corner.
    After warming eggs 10 minutes she went and ate. Poor girl




    Notes and video and pics by loza on bcaw
    loza marked pip in egg lower right
    [b]Pip I saw with IR is VERY CLEAR – in top egg, different time[/b]

    Diamond is eating (by loza on bcaw)

    bcaw link

    RRP link

    No Bula yet (morning)
    10.00 am Oct 3 in Australia
    7 pm Oct 2 edt in USA

    Its rained a lot – but some sun too
    I saw a cockatoo flying around out there

    Twice Diamond’s walked to the door then back to her eggs.

  8. We have a hatch!
    October 4, 2016 Shepnotes
    Shortly after 1.30 am in Oz I saw her peep – probly to her chick.
    She is wiggling almost continually

    2.45 am Oct 4 Oz
    11.45 am US edt
    There is a shell! Chick #1 has arrived!

  9. 5:21 Oz time.

    Both halves of shell fully off to the side. Diamond completely covering eggs and chick (and slightly out of camera range) so I haven’t seen chick yet.

  10. I see the shell! Diamond is so still I had to check she was breathing!! I haven’t seen her this still for a while

  11. 8.16 you can see the 2 chicks and Diamond takes off to the sky but only for about a minute before she returns again empty handed.

  12. Heartbreaking to watch, given Bula’s “missing in action” status 🙁 Every couple of minutes Diamond gets up and has a look outside, then comes back to keep the eyasses warm… but they’re going to need more than warmth. It’s almost too hard to watch, but I can’t look away!

  13. Diamond is just bonkers poor thing.
    She has to have food for her 2 young and she doesnt want to leave them. Back n forth, back n forth – she flies out, flies right back.

    Looked as if she stepton one chick

  14. OH no …. 8.36 I saw a pair of wings at the window ledge, but I’d only just tuned in to that camera. I went back to the nest cam and it was 3 minutes behind. It got to 3.34 and then went to normal time .. hope someone can see what it was. Diamond was definitely listening out and I had seen a dark fast bird flying around the trees.

  15. 2:09 pm: Diamond still gone. I didn’t see what time she left. She must be out hunting.

    Is there any way a stash of food can be added to the box for her to pull from. She’s gonna need help to give these chicks the best chance of surviving.

  16. Don’t think they’d leave her food….but I did think…can we put out seed to attract lots of birds into her view point lol

  17. WOW…so, she’s been gone almost an hour. She is back, but didn’t see when she arrived…(cam had stopped and I didn’t know it…duh)

    Possible food in the left front corner?

    Sending positive thoughts and prayers

  18. This is such a distressing time for Diamond and the hatchlings at all kinds of levels. Is there any chance, if push comes to shove, that the hatchlings could be rescued from the nest box? Sending positive thoughts for a good outcome.

  19. No rescue, I’m afraid. Feeding not a realistic option, either. Seems harsh and I’m very tempted to do it, but these are wild birds and nature needs to take its course. Furthermore, this is a research project and if I interfere, then the results are no longer valid (and I’m probably in breach of the Animal Ethics Protocol).

  20. Ode to Bula

    I loved Bula for 21 days
    Then he and Diamond parted ways
    Where are you, we do not know
    Xavier came now so you need not show

    Bula fathered 3 healthy chicks
    Now Xavier will teach them his tricks
    We are glad you were replaced,
    But for a few days we paced n paced

    I hope your happy wherever you are
    Over that hill or beyond that star

    * Note – I had not watched this cam til this year

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