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.”
March 22, 2017: Your Questions Answered!
Hello one and all! I’m so happy to be able to answer your questions again; for the 6th year in a row. I already have some great questions that I’ll get to later on.
We turned on the camera Wednesday, 15 March. Just out of coincidence, I was the first one to spot the first egg this year, and that was 14 March. Lucky me! There are a few of us that get to watch through the camera before it’s turned on to the rest of you, and at 3:35 that afternoon I took a look. The male was sitting in the middle of the box, and almost immediately started to show signs of getting up. A few seconds later he did, and low and behold, there was the first egg. In 2012, the first year we had the camera, the female then (Sioux-Zee) laid her first egg on 10 March. This year is the second earliest to 2012.
This year we have the same female and male as last year. The male was banded in 2004 when he was released to the wild as a fledgling at a power plant in southern Missouri. The female was banded as a chick in 2006. Her nest was on a cliff in a state park in Minnesota. This is the second year the male has been with us, and this is the third year the female has been with us. As it stands today, 23 March, at 9:30 am, our Peregrine pair has 3 eggs. The third egg was spotted the morning of 22 March. Last year our pair had 5 eggs, but only 2 hatched. Both chicks fledged (flew from the nest) successfully.
Now to your questions. Someone asked how many chicks have successfully fledged the Portage de Sioux Energy Center nest box since the start of the Peregrine cam in 2012. The answer is 18. That’s 5 in 2012, 4 each in 2013 and 2014, 3 in 2015 and 2 last year. I actually banded 5 babies in 2011, the year before we started the camera. To take this a little further, we have had 2 adult males and 2 adult females on the energy center territory since 2012.
Someone else asked where the adult Peregrines go over the winter. I have been to the energy center several times over January and February since we started the camera, and all those times I’ve seen at least one adult Peregrine perched within 200 yards of the nest box. While it’s no guarantee the bird(s) I was looking at was one of our adults, chances are it was. Peregrines from this latitude usually stay the winter on their territory. Peregrines nest all the way to the Arctic circle, and those birds migrate long distances to escape the cold and follow their food source (mainly shore birds). “Peregrine” in Latin means, “wanderer,” and this describes those long-distance migrations. Peregrines migrate further than any other bird of prey, with some birds moving from the Arctic circle all the way to the southern tip of South America. Could you imagine the frequent flier miles those birds would rack up!
Finally, someone sent me a picture of a Peregrine as it perched on the Chain of Rocks bridge, which is a walk-across bridge spanning the Mississippi River a few miles north of downtown St. Louis. The photo clearly showed the colored band the bird sported on it’s right leg, and sure enough I could read the letters and numbers within the band’s colored fields. Turns out I banded this male Peregrine on 3 June 2015. It was one of 4 brothers in a nest box on the 43rd floor of the AT&T building in downtown St. Louis.
This is the power of bands, folks. We gain so much knowledge of these spectacular raptors from photos anyone can take. I know where each of the Portage de Sioux Energy Center adult birds came from because of their bands. I know where most of the other Peregrines that nest in the greater St. Louis area are from because of their bands. I’ve been able to identify at least 4 other Peregrines per year for the last 10-12 years all because of their bands. Being able to identify a bird like this gives me a thrill that’s hard to describe. My mind always wanders (like Peregrines do) to where each has been since the time it was banded, what it has seen in its travels, etc.
Keep those questions coming! I look forward to answering them next week.
Jeff Meshach, Deputy Director of World Bird Sanctuary