The Falcon Cam: A bird’s eye view!
Welcome to the 2014 DNREC Peregrine Falcon Webcam – featuring resident peregrines Red Girl and her new mate, Trinity," as they go about raising their first brood together this spring in Delaware!
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Streaming video from the 19th floor of the Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington, the Falcon Cam follows the flight and fate of this pair and their offspring.
Peregrine Falcons, once a federally endangered species, have been using a nest box, provided by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on the Brandywine Building since 1992. In the past decade, this site has been home to some of Delaware’s most successful falcons, often producing three or more eyasses (baby falcons) each year. The Falcon Cam comes to you through DNREC and project partners, the Delmarva Ornithological Society and DuPont’s Clear Into The Future Program with support from Citibank and others, projecting what's sure to be another exciting season in the skies of Wilmington.
April 20 – Similar to 2013 Falcon Cam circumstances over concern for the well-being of chicks Nos. 5 and 6, US Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Craig Koppie removes these two smallest chicks from the nest box at around 2 p.m. Both appeared to be lacking in vigor and, as a precaution, are closely monitored and carefully fed to increase their chances of survival. The fifth chick immediately starts to rebound and gain strength; the sixth and last-hatched chick cannot overcome its disadvantageous start and does not survive. During this time of hand-rearing for the fifth chick from the Red Girl-Trinity mating, Mr. Koppie will use techniques to prevent the chick from becoming acclimated to people, including playing recordings of adult peregrines and ensuring that he isn’t seen when tending to the chick.
April 19 – After all but giving up on the sixth egg's viability, it comes as a big surprise that it has hatched! However, the delayed hatching puts this last chick at a significant disadvantage when faced with competition from its five siblings. Being both least and last, odds are heavily against its survival.
April 16 – A fifth egg hatches overnight. lthough there is a noticeable size difference between Nos. 1 and 2 and No. 5, the littlest one appeared to receive enough food from mom during feedings.
April 15 – Over night, two more eggs hatch bringing the chick total to four! With two eggs remaining, Red Girl and Trinity will be busy keeping these mouths full.
April 14 – The first eggs hatch! Two chicks can be seen in the nest box when Red Girl isn’t busy trying to keep them warm by brooding them. Brooding is similar to incubation when the adults cover the chicks with their bodies to help them regulate temperatures.
March 15 – To the amazement of Falcon Cam viewers, Red Girl lays a sixth egg sometime in the early morning! While Peregrines have been documented to lay up to seven eggs, anytime a pair produces more than five is a very rare mating event.
March 12 – Red Girl does not disappoint and lays a fifth egg at about 10:20 a.m. - quite a clutch for a Peregrine pair, particularly for their first mating. Full-time incubation has begun and, with some luck, we will see the first egg hatching in early April.
March 10 – Holding true to past seasons, Red Girl lays her fourth egg. Now we watch to see if full-time incubation begins or if a fifth egg has yet to appear.
March 08 – Sometime in the early morning, under the cover of darkness, a third egg is produced. Remember, it was this date in 2013 when the first egg was seen.
March 05 – Red Girl lays the second egg in midafternoon.
March 03 – The first egg appears in the nest box, five days earlier than the first egg in 2013! We can expect more eggs to be laid about every other day over the next week.
January and February – This season, the DNREC Falcon Cam welcomes Red Girl’s new mate Trinity. Under unknown circumstances, her former mate, CJ, disappeared last year and his fate remains unknown. However, in the world of Peregrine falcons, a new male quickly arrived on the scene and was accepted by Red Girl. Both resident adults, Red Girl and Trinity, are seen in the nest box making scrapes and courting. As March approached, activity in the box picked up as the pair prepared for their clutch of eggs for 2014.
DNREC's Falcon Cam is made possible in conjunction with sponsors DuPont’s Clear into the Future program and the Delmarva Ornithological Society, among others.