The birds have come back for what we hope will be the best season yet. Cameras are equipped with HD night vision for 24-hour viewing. Watch the peregrines hatch, raise and nurture their chicks and gently guide them into adulthood (as only somewhat violent birds of prey can do).
July 26, 2017 – M49 and B32 have been bonding up a storm and are often seen on camera scraping in or in front of the box. Their arrivals are always heralded with chupping as they chat back and forth.
July 12, 2017 – One of the Bell females had to be rescued last week and the story even made the news! Her sister has been spotted in the general area around Bell Tower and is flying well. Currently, the only peregrines being observed at the nest are the parents, which is helpful because they are able to keep an eye on their one remaining youngster. Given her ability to fly higher and from building to building, we may be able to see her on the cam again before the end of season - fingers crossed!
July 6, 2017 – The two chicks appear to have feldged a little early - they are both out testing their wings. The adults haven't been seen much, but they are likely keeping an eye on their girls, who may have found a different roof to hang out on and are unable to get back to their normal ledge. It is possible that they may find their way back to the nest box at some point later this summer!
June 28, 2017 – The Bell girls spend a lot of time ambling around and exploring their little territory. We are seeing a lot more feathers and wing stretching now and soon they will start flapping around and then considering actual flight.
June 21, 2017 – BIG NEWS! It turns out that E4 is not E4 at all. We got a closer look at her today as we banded her chicks and she voiced her displeasure at the intrusion. E4 is actually M49. She has the same markings, mannerisms, and walk as E4 and we’re working off the theory that she is likely an offspring of E4. The male is B32; this is the first year this pair has nested at Bell. Their big, healthy chicks are both female.
June 15, 2017 – E4’s chicks are growing like crazy! Fifteen-year-old E4 is a great mother—these chicks are definitely not starving. Last week, every time these two thought they might like to take an amble outside the box, E4 herded them back in. This week, the 19-day-old chicks are allowed to explore just a little bit farther (but not too far).
June 5, 2017 – E4’s chicks are thriving. The male would really like to take on a few of the duties, but E4 is having none of it! She allows him to sneak in for brief visits when she steps out.
May 30, 2017 – E4 has a couple of chicks. The first born around 9:30 pm on the 26th and the second born slightly before midnight. We’re not sure of the exact details regarding the other two eggs but initial thoughts are that one was damaged and another has not yet hatched and likely won’t. The chicks that E4 does have are thriving, though.
May 17, 2017 – There’s not much going on right now. The peregrine couple are taking turns incubating the four eggs. We expect them to hatch within the next couple of weeks.
May 2, 2017 – E4 has finished laying is now brooding on her four eggs.
April 25, 2017 – E4 has laid her fourth egg. The unbanded male is still making the odd appearance, but the banded male and E4 keep showing him the door. It would seem that that E4 has made her choice.
April 20, 2017 – E4 has laid her second egg!
April 18, 2017 – As of this morning, E4 has laid her first egg! She’s sticking pretty close to home now while waiting to see who wins her affections. Two males have been vying for her attention (one is possibly the unbanded male who chased off Big Red last year).
April 13, 2017 – E4 has returned once again! She’s been chupping quite a bit so we think there is a male around, but we’re not quite sure who it is at this point.
There was a bit of drama at this site in 2016. E4 settled in with Big Red and laid four eggs. Big Red was “removed” by a younger, inexperienced male who didn’t do a good job of keeping E4 fed. E4 was able to incubate all her eggs (though they had been switched out for dummy eggs just in case). The faux-eggs were then replaced with a chick who tried out her wings a little too early and hasn’t been seen since.
Species at Risk
Although the peregrines get a lot of attention because they are obviously excessively cool, there are many other interesting species that are considered to be a Species at Risk, and there is no good reason not to learn about them! For example, the greater sage grouse is a very unique looking upland bird and there are very few left in Alberta. Also check out some of the bat conservation initiatives in Alberta.