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Bird’s-Eye View of Local Nesting Birds

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

It’s always fun during breeding season to watch live video of nesting birds from nest cameras around the world. There are some local ones that we provide links to each spring. The links given below are always also visible on our right-hand sidebar.

Calgary Zoo Osprey Nest Cam: This camera has been operating for many years. This year, the nest platform and camera were moved a bit downstream from its usual location, but he Ospreys are back and refurbishing the nest right now.

An April 18th still from the nest camera. From the Twitter feed of boooneill (@ koniell57).

Gray Jay Nest at Ellis Bird Farm: This was the first ever live view of a Gray Jay nest, so this one, operated by the Ellis Bird Farm north of Red Deer, attracted a lot of attention. Unfortunately the nest recently failed. There are still some videos at the link. If the birds re-nest this year and it can be located, new video may be available. The nest was located about 100 km north of Calgary. Information about this and other cameras operated by the Ellis Bird Farm can be found on their website here.

Normally we have a link to the popular University of Calgary Peregrine Falcon nest camera, but this year, the camera is no longer online. In addition, the recent pages with all of the observations from 2010 on have been removed. All that is left online are the historical observations from 1995-2009, so we have a link to that.

I have tried to find out more about this, but haven’t heard back from anyone about who operated the camera or if the link will ever be restored. But the web page was maintained through the U of C’s library and and cultural resources, and they have decided to remove that support as part of their 2017-2018 budget cuts.

The university prides itself on its community outreach, so it’s a shame that they decided to cut this. Perhaps if they got feedback from people who valued the project they would reconsider; if not this year, then next. You can contact the Community Engagement Team on this page, or Thomas Hickerson, Vice-Provost (Libraries) here.

Please leave a comment here if you have any information about this camera or any others in the Calgary area. In 2016 there was a nesting box installed at the top of the Foothills Hospital in the hopes of attracting more Peregrines, but again, I haven’t been able to find out if there is a nest camera or website this year.

Wee Little Nuthatch Nest Camera

Posted by Bob Lefebvre. Photos copyright by themorningsideoflife.ca.

An avid birdlover in Calgary has set up a nest box camera in her yard, affording great views of a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches that are trying to nest there. I say “trying” because after they brought in loads of nesting material, a pair of Black-capped Chickadees, working together very quickly,  moved in and cleaned it all out again. Then the nuthatches recaptured the box and are bringing in more grass and wood shavings to line their nest. (The chickadees settled into a different nest box in the yard.)

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One of the Nuthatches in the nest box, no doubt keeping a watch for Chickadees.

The nest box can be watched live on Ustream at this link. There are also many saved video clips that you can play to see what has happened up to now. The live camera is not always online, but it usually is during the daytime, and when it’s on you can comment on what you see using your Facebook or Twitter account. The nuthatches are most active at the nest from 6 to 10 am.

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The female nuthatch, named Lucy, at the nest box.

It will be extremely interesting to watch if they they do successfully have young. The vocalizations and behaviors recorded up to now are fascinating to see and hear. It’s a view of Red-breasted Nuthatches that we don’t usually get!

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The male nuthatch, named Ricky (of course), ready to drive off chickadees.

The camera link will be on on our right-hand sidebar throughout the nesting season, along with the Osprey and Peregrine Falcon camera links. The camera link can also be found at the camera owner’s blog, The Morning Side Of Life. Check it out for great bird photos. You can also find a link to her blog on our sidebar with the other blog links.

You might want to also check out a new Facebook group called Alberta Backyard Birds (& Feeder Watch) for more photos and discussion of yard birds.

Calgary Nest Cameras

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The Peregrine Falcons have been back at the University of Calgary for a while now, and the female has laid four eggs. At the Calgary Zoo, the Ospreys are nesting on the platform there and have one egg laid. We have been lucky enough to be able to watch these birds raise their young via nest cameras for several years.

To see the Peregrines, go to this page and click the YouTube link.

The Zoo Osprey camera can be found at this page.

We will have a link to these sites on our right-hand sidebar throughout the breeding season.

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Osprey on the hunt. Photo by Dan Arndt.

If you want to see Ospreys in person, they can be found hunting almost anywhere along the river. There are many pairs nesting Calgary.

The Peregrines at the U of C can sometimes be seen perched on tall buildings on campus.

2015 Peregrine and Osprey Nest Cams

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Ospreys are now back in the city, and Peregrine Falcons have been back for a few weeks. The regular nesting Peregrines returned to the University of Calgary a month ago, and as of yesterday, four eggs were in the nest. That should be it for egg-laying, so now you can watch until they hatch and the young fledge.

Watch live here, and there is a link where you can view the nest on YouTube, and comment on what you see.

Meanwhile, both the male and female Osprey were back at the Calgary Zoo nesting platform by April 16. You can watch live here.

Links to both cameras will be at the top of our right-hand sidebar until the birds have left, so you can always come to Birds Calgary for a quick link to the nest cams.

We have now removed the Snowy Owl sightings link for the season. You can check eBird for all this year’s Snowy sightings here.

Watch the Ospreys and Peregrines!

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The weather may still be a little closer to winter conditions than to spring, but now the Ospreys and the Peregrine Falcons are back, and you can watch them at their nests from the comfort of your home.

The first Peregrine returned to the University of Calgary campus on March 31, 2014. You can watch a live feed from the nest camera here: U of C Falcons .

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Peregrine Falcon (not at the U of C). Photo by Anne Elliott

The first Osprey was reported at the platform by the Calgary Zoo on April 17. You can see the live feed here: Zoo Osprey .

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Ospreys on a nest platform (not in Calgary). Photo by Bob Lefebvre 

So far there hasn’t been much activity at the nests, but once the females are on the eggs it’s a lot of fun to check regularly and see the feeding activity, the hatching of the eggs, and the growth of the chicks.

There will be a link to these cameras on the right-hand sidebar of the blog throughout the nesting season so you can check on them regularly.

Zoo Ospreys are Back – Watch Live

The Ospreys are back on the nesting platform at the Calgary Zoo. So far there are just a few sticks on the platform, so if you tune in to the live Enmax web cam, over the next few weeks you can watch them build the nest, lay eggs, and raise their young until they fledge.

Below is a link to the web cam. We will also have a link on the right sidebar of our Home Page throughout the nesting season. Check out the U of C Peregrine Falcon nest cam too!

Go to the live web Osprey nest cam here.

Peregrine Falcons at U of C

Since at least 1995, Peregrine Falcons have nested on Craigie Hall at the University of Calgary. For the past few years, there has been a live nest cam so that we can watch the falcons at the nest, and see the young falcons hatch and fledge.

The first returning Peregrine was sighted on March 25 this year, and by April 9 the pair was ready to nest. The first egg was laid on April 16. We will have a link to the nest cam on the sidebar of our Birds Calgary home page throughout the breeding season.

Click here for the live nest camera feed.