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.

Update on Swainson’s Hawk Chicks

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Here are some more photographs, taken by Colin Nakahara, of the Swainson’s Hawk and chicks at a nest in SE Calgary. This post from last week showed the downy young in the nest. Today’s photos, taken on July 14, 21, and 29, show the growing chicks. Unfortunately one chick didn’t make it.

All photos by Colin Nakahara.

July 14 (1)

Adult Swainson’s Hawk (left) and young in the nest. July 14, 2016.

July 14 (3)

July 14, 2016.

July 14 (13)

The adult hawk, keeping an eye on Colin but appearing calm.

July 21 (23)

July 21. Another week older, and a little closer to leaving the nest.

July 21 (28)

July 21.

July 29 (3)

July 29 – adult.

July 29 (13)

July 29 – one of the chicks.

July 29 (11)

This one looks just about ready to fly. July 29.

Sunday Showcase: Swainson’s Hawk Chicks

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Swainson’s Hawks commonly nest right in the city, but since the nests are high in the treetops it is usually difficult to see the young birds before they fledge. Here are some photos taken from the rooftop of a business in the Highfield industrial area of Calgary. They were sent to me by Mark Dann, and the photographer is Colin Nakahara.

June 28 (9)

June 28, 2016: Downy Swainson’s Hawks chicks in the nest. Photo by Colin Nakahara.

July 7 (24)

July 7, 2016: The young birds are beginning to show their colours. Photo by Colin Nakahara.

The adult bird is aware of Colin when he is on the roof and keeps an eye on him but has not been threatening or agitated. I hope to post more photos to show the growth of these beautiful birds!