Richmond Falcon Cam
On occasion, you may see a blank or "broken" image.
If this happens, you can manually refresh the page using your browser controls or simply wait for the Falcon Cam to refresh itself.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Falcon cam viewers may have noticed that one of the four eggs is much lighter in color than the other three. This isn’t all that unusual as peregrine falcon eggs may be a wide variety of colors from pale creamy to darker reddish brown. The eggs are also typically patterned with darker splotches and spots.
All eggs initially have white shells in the female’s reproductive tract. Once the eggs pass into the uterus region they receive their pigmentation, including any patterns. There eggs of peregrine falcons are well camouflaged for their natural nest sites on rocky cliffs and ledges. Not all birds have colored or patterned eggs. Some large raptors (like bald eagles or great horned owls) have white eggs as they have relatively few eggs predators. Cavity nesting birds typically have white eggs as their eggs are well hidden from view.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Today we were able to see a fourth egg in the Richmond nest. Given how well the eggs are hidden in the nest box we can’t be sure when it was laid. Based on our estimates of when the previous eggs were laid, we believe that this egg was produced sometime between Saturday and afternoon. This egg will likely fill out the clutch although as this female showed us earlier this season - peregrine falcons are capable of laying five eggs.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The position of the scrape in the nest box makes it very hard to see the eggs. We have been watching closely for any sign of additional eggs and finally caught a glimpse of a third egg just before noon today. We aren’t sure when this may have been laid - likely sometime yesterday or earlier today. We’ll continue to watch and see if a fourth egg is laid over the weekend.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
We have confirmed a second clutch of eggs for the Richmond peregrine falcons. The first egg was likely laid sometime on Saturday May 4th. A second was clearly seen on May 7th. Peregrine falcons typically lay eggs two days apart. The nest scrape (depression in the gravel where the eggs are laid) is very close to the front edge of the nest box , making it difficult to see how many eggs the pair have. The birds have been incubating regularly and incubation generally starts with the penultimate (second to last) egg, although cool temeratures can cause incubation to start earlier in the process. A four egg clutch is the norm for peregrine falcons but we’ll have to wait until we get a better look to know for sure how many eggs we have.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Since the loss of the eggs at the Dominion Building we have been watching the cameras there as well as at Riverfront Plaza for falcon activity. We were pleased to see the birds on the Riverfront Plaza camera on April 23rd. Since that time both the male and female have spent considerable time at the nest box and have frequently engaged in courtship behavior like the “head-low” display seen below.
All of this makes us cautiously optimistic as we wait to see if the Richmond peregrines will attempt a second clutch.
Friday, April 19, 2013
DGIF biologists have been closely monitoring the nest and this morning noted that only a single egg remained. Biologists accessed the nest box and examined the remaining egg.
The egg was clearly cracked and leaking yolk. The cracks were not consistent with a normal hatching and at this late stage the yolk should have been absorbed by the embryo. All of this indicated that the egg was not viable. The egg was collected and DGIF is looking into having it evaluated for a variety of factors that might have led to this outcome.
Although it is late in the breeding season, the potential for re-nesting exists and we will continue to monitor this nest site for falcon activity.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
DGIF biologists continue to monitor the nest at One James River Plaza. Sometime after 7:30am this morning another egg was removed by the falcons. Two eggs remain and are being incubated. There are any number of factors that can contribute to late embryo mortality and at this point we don’t have enough information to do any more than speculate.
Monday, April 15, 2013
While we work to get the feed up and running, we continue to regularly monitor the cameras. Earlier today we saw that another egg has been removed from the scrape. In the photos below the eggs are visible as the male (noted by the bands on his legs) relieves the female of her incubating duty. The three remaining eggs are being incubated and we hope to see signs of hatching over the next few days.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
On Thursday April 11th Biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), with the assistance of Dominion personnel, installed two webcams at the peregrine falcon nest box on the 22nd floor of the Dominion Building at One James River Plaza in Downtown Richmond.
These two cameras will allow biologists to monitor the progress of the birds through their breeding cycle and provide the public with an opportunity to see the day to day lives of these amazing birds of prey. This project is jointly sponsored by VDGIF and Dominion. With the assistance of the University of Virginia Long Term Ecological Research project, live images from the camera will be made available to the public. We are working on the technical aspects of making these images available and hope to have it up and running soon. DGIF biologists will post information and updates through the breeding season.
The pair had laid a five egg clutch for the first time. The camera allowed us to see that one of these eggs was not being incubated through much of the day on Friday. On Friday evening at approximately 7:30 pm we could see that only four eggs remained in the nest box. Falcons will often remove non-viable eggs from the nest and we suspect that is what occurred. A DGIF biologist searched the ground underneath the nesting area on Saturday morning and found no sign of the egg. The female continues to incubate the remaining four eggs. Peregrine falcons typically incubate their eggs for 33-35 days and we expect these eggs to hatch sometime next week.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Richmond peregrine falcons are full of surprises this year, not only did the pair nest in a new location, but a visit by VDGIF biologists on Friday afternoon (March 15th) determined that the pair had ltwo more eggs…for a total of five! This is very unusual for peregrine falcons. Work by CCB from 2002 through 2012 found only 7 five-egg clutches in Virginia during that 10 year period. (source Center for Conservation Biology).