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).
The peregrines are monitored 24/7 and biologists are informed directly if there are any concerns. Occasionally, eggs or chicks may be removed from the nests and taken to a hack site to ensure proper growth.
Update: June 8, 2018
11:00 am - All four have hatched. This mom has amazing timing. Last year at this nest box, it took about five days for the chicks to hatch; this year there was 22 hours between chick one and chick four, despite the eggs being laid seven days apart.
8:30 am - A third chick has made an appearance. Both the peregrine parents have been very attentive.
Update: June 7, 2018
A couple of chicks showed up over night. Both seem healthy and we expect their two siblings to show up any time.
Update: June 6, 2018
We're getting very close to hatch time!
Unborn peregrine chicks have what’s called a “hatching muscle”—a large muscle that runs from the middle of the neck to the top of the head. After 30 days of incubation, the muscle contracts, causing the chicks head to snap outwards, starting the hatching process.
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Update: May 31, 2018
Though the weather this week has been a little cool, the birds don’t sit on those eggs just to warm them up. Eggs can take some degree of cooling, but more importantly, they need to be protected from direct sunlight and heat otherwise they will dry out and kill the embryos.
And you may have noticed that during the hot weather, the birds will pant, kind of like a dog. Birds don’t sweat because water is too heavy to carry in flight, so they pant to cool.
Update: May 22, 2018
There are four eggs at this site and the male and female are taking turns with incubating. If you've ever wondered how chicks breathe while stuck inside the eggs: eggshells are porous and allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through.
Weekend Update: May 8, 2018
There are four--possibly five--eggs at this site (it's hard to see with the shadows and camera angle).
Update: May 3, 2018
Egg #3 showed up overnight.
Update: May 2, 2018
Egg #1 was laid sometime on Saturday night and egg #2 on Monday. It's hard to get a close look at those tiny bands on the peregrine legs but we still believe, based on habits and markings, that M27 is back along with the long-term male at this site.
Update: May 1, 2018
Eggs! We still haven't been able to get a good look at the band on the female that laid them, but we will once she's spending more time there.
Update: April 26, 2018
We have confirmation that the male spotted at this site is the same one that's been there since 2012. We haven't gotten a good look at the female's band, but we suspect it's M27 also back for another year.
Genesee was home of a cutthroat culinary adventure in 2017! M27 (a female born at Inland Cement in 2013) made her claim here last year, and quickly showed us her love of food. A typical glimpse of M27 included snacking and her partner, a male who’s been at this site since 2012, was all too happy oblige with many tasty gifts. The three healthy chicks inherited a healthy appetite from their mother, and slept plenty to prepare for their quick and successful crash course in flying!
Species at Risk
Although the peregrine falcon and the ferruginous hawk get a lot of attention because they are obviously excessively cool, there are many other interesting species that are considered to be 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.