Watch Live Peregrine Falcon Cam Nest Box!
In partnership with Missouri Department of Conservation and Ameren Missouri, the World Bird Sanctuary is pleased to be able to bring you a live video camera on a Peregrine Falcon nest box. Watch a pair of peregrine falcons as they nest and hatch their chicks with our live video feed. During our Falcon Season, the video runs from 7am – 8pm (central time) each day.
Have a Question About Peregrine Falcons? Ask Jeff!
Every May and June Jeff Meshach, Director of World Bird Sanctuary, bands the Peregrine babies in at least 5 of the 7 known nests in the St. Louis area. Jeff considers his banding efforts to be one of the greatest privileges in the world. “Getting to put my hands on the fastest animal in the world, even for just a few minutes, is an unforgettable experience.”
April 12, 2017: Your Questions Answered!
HELLO ONE AND ALL! Apologies for skipping a week. There were no questions asked, but with mostly unexciting things going on at the nest, and many hours of it, it’s understood there would be few if any questions. I’m sure many of you have seen the female doze off as she passes the hours atop her 5 eggs. I believe I would do the same (and probably get pretty stiff), if I were in the same position for hours on end. Eggs should hatch about 30 April.
To help you view a little excitement, the best time to see the male bring food into the female is early morning, any time from first light to 8 o’clock. Almost always the female takes the food from him and leaves the nest, and the theory I think most accurate for no food in nest is so the nest stays as clean as possible. The male gets to incubate the eggs for 30 or so minutes. Watching the male get into position over the eggs is comical! The male is considerably smaller than the female, so that means less space between his legs and on his stomach to fit over the eggs. He will almost fall into position just after he daintily puts his balled-up feet on each side of the “bowl” of eggs. He must use his breast and his wings to keep the eggs under him. I’ll speculate he isn’t too comfortable for the time the female is having her breakfast.
There are several theories on why the male is smaller than the female in most raptors. One theory is a smaller bird makes for better maneuverability, so better to provide food for the female and eventually the family. I have a hard time accepting this theory because the female is more than capable of capturing food for herself and her growing chicks, once the chicks are big enough and she can safely leave the nest.
A couple of other theories are bigger bird fits over the eggs better and can better defend the nest from a potential predator, if needed. These theories are more acceptable for me.
The theory I believe most accurate is a bigger body can more easily produce the eggs, since producing eggs takes nutrients from the body. Flying is a strenuous exercise, so naturel selection and time have allowed birds to shed weight in many ways, such as no teeth that grow from the jaw (birds have light weight beaks made of carotene), internal sexual organs that become larger and active only during the breeding season, and the largest bones in the body have hollow spaces within them. With females, there are spikes of bone that grow within these hollows. The spikes are called medullary bone. Since bones are mostly made of calcium, and calcium is the nutrient most needed for egg production, the medullary bone helps provide the needed calcium for egg production. Experiments have proven medullary bones becomes smaller during the nesting cycle, then grows back during the non-nesting cycle. Nature is so cool!
Talk with you all next week.
Jeff Meshach, Deputy Director of World Bird Sanctuary