Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Vandal bird attacks camera!

Following yesterday's attempt to melt ice on the peregrines' nest ledge, we captured this footage earlier today of  'ee-chupping' - the courtship  display and call between the smaller male (called a tiercel) and the larger female (falcon). It's encouraging that he takes up his usual place in the nest scrape and called to her from within it, with head bowed.
It was also encouraging that, as normally happens, she waddles over and he flies off somewhat intimidated, and then she inspects the scrape and 'nest-site to be'.


But on this occasion her attention was suddenly caught up by the camera fitted on the side of the nest. And the remaining mass of ice gives her rather more reach than we had expected. What results is rather amusing to watch, but disappointing that, in the end, she returns to the ice-covered base on the far side of the nest ledge, which contains no soft gravel in which to lay her eggs.

The picture below was captured and posted to Flickr by HelenSara - what a view!

An inside job!

54 comments:

Phoebe said...

After watching that video again, she did dislodge some of the icy snow in the process which may help it disperse. I think she will lay in the left eventually. We wait to see.

Anonymous said...

The ice looks pretty solid, her talons dont sink in, she uses the snow as a step up ;o)

Anonymous said...

I think you may of put her off nesting at that side of the tray yourselves unfortunately, as i think she can possibly be able to see her reflection in the camera, and she thinks it is another bird, as it looks as though she is attacking the camera to me.....just a thought.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Anon: she certainly does seem 'interested' in the camera which is somewhat concerning to us and something we hadn't thought would happen to this extent - if at all. Many birds tolerate cameras very close to their nests without blinking an eyelid - so this is a bit unusual.
Quite whether it is a reflection she sees or some tiny noise the camera makes we obviously can't tell. Nick M made the camera housing as inconspicuous as he could, covering it with black tape.
Clearly her urge to breed (and the developing eggs inside her) will ensure she does lay somewhere on the platform but just where is impossible to tell. I suppose she has some innate drive to find the most suitable spot on which to lay. Every year so far (all seven of them) she has laid on the gravel not the slate so she clearly prefers that side. The other side will have been much more out of the bitter NE wind this week so that may have had some effect in encouraging her to stand on the slate side.
Only time will tell now where she lays but at least she has a choice...
Any more guesses as to when the first egg will appear? Last year she laid the first on 28th which is tomorrow....
Nick B (DWT)

Anne said...

Hi Nick
I think she will lay her first egg on Easter Sunday by which time, hopefully, this bitter east wind may have abated somewhat. Many thanks to all those involved in caring for our birds and allowing us some insight into their lives.

Anne of Allestree

Phoebe said...

So there's a tie-break between Anne of Allestree and myself, we both said Easter Sunday. If there is no egg by then we will have to give a time. lol

I've not seen the birds about yet this morning, has anyone else?

Phoebe said...

Ah, there is the falcon on the tower now.

Phoebe said...

She is plucking prey.

Phoebe said...
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Phoebe said...

A quick swap over now the tiercel is feeding, well I think it's the tiercel.

julie907 said...

I dont think its anything to do with the camera putting her off, I think that she would have been long gone by now had it been that. Many nests have cameras in them and birds often catch their reflection and go ballistic. I have been worried however that the snowfall has disrupted her laying pattern and its that that is putting her off more than anything. Just wish it would clear so she can get on with it bless her

Phoebe said...

The tiercel is in the left side doing some scraping.

Phoebe said...

Lots of eee-chupping in the scrape tiercel on the left, falcon on the right, they are making a stand.

Phoebe said...

Tiercel has left and the falcon moved to the left. She is scraping a serious hollow - at last! I feel sure she will lay in the left.

AnnieF. said...

Yes I watched that too Phoebe, it was very like the video from yesterday except for the enthusiastic scraping, which was a very welcome sight. I don't think we need have any more worries - the HWB treatment has had the desired effect!

Joyce S said...

Both peregrines are on Jury's Inn lettering this afternoon, enjoying a bit of sunshine

Phoebe said...

I spy a pere on the corbel below the right side of the scrape

Phoebe said...

A lovely viewing just of the tiercel scraping the left side and the falcon arriving and some head bowing and eee-chupping then more scraping. I think an egg is imminent! A nice little hollow for 3 or 4 eggs now.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Hi Phoebe nice to be back for another year. Thanks to Nick for answering my questions the other day. I see there seems to be more snow in the wrong side of the box. Maybe she will move over to the other side when she is ready to lay her eggs. xxx

AnnieF. said...

The falcon has been in the same position for at least two hours - sitting in the snow on the wrong side of the nestbox, right next to and facing inwards to the central upright. Earlier in this period she had a good old peck at the wood surrounding the base. Are her feet and rear end impervious to the cold?

AnnieF. said...

She's still in the wrong side of the nestbox but has moved nearer to the far side & is looking outwards. I've never seen her stay so long in one place. Will she lay tonight, I wonder?

Phoebe said...

Hi Annie, I would say that is the male (tiercel) on the scrape not the falcon. Maybe he is defending that side to make her go the other side.

To answer your question about rear end, birds have an abundance of special soft feathers in that region, I call it a 'muff' not sure if that's the correct term so that will usually always be warm. Their feet I think don't have the same nerves as the rest of the body so they don't feel the cold so much.

Joyce S said...

My daughter-in-law has just sent me this link to the Sheffield peregrines, who now have one egg!!
http://efm.dept.shef.ac.uk/peregrine/index.html

AnnieF. said...

Phoebe, thanks for putting me right about the tiercel. After all these years I still can't tell which is which unless they're together!

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

@AnnieF - you're not alone there. I have the same problem sometimes!

Phoebe said...

For some reason the live stream 3 is unable to connect. Is it just me?

Phoebe said...

AnnieF, I can't always tell the difference, it takes time to get to know them.

Phoebe said...

More head bowing on the scrape!

Phoebe said...
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Phoebe said...

The falcon is on her own now and is scraping on the left gravel side! featherws are fluffed like she is ready to lay!

Phoebe said...

Finally one, the Tiercel, is sitting on the ledge. Where have they been all day? lol

Phoebe said...

He's just flown down to the corbel below the ledge on the right hand view.

Phoebe said...

Is an egg imminent? I think may be.

Phoebe said...
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Phoebe said...

Food being had on the scrape. I think the Tiercel brought it for the falcon i briefly saw both in the scrape

Helen said...

Interesting to watch the falcon on the platform just now coughing up a pellet. I've never seen that before.

Phoebe said...

I was half watching that Helen, I missed the pellet. I have seen one do it live, the first time you see it you think they are choking then you jump out of the way lol. Did anyone get a screen grab?

Anonymous said...

All quiet this morning.
Phoebe, I keep anticipating the egg arrival :)But me thinks they are very canny, with the bit of Sun this morning and hopefully less wind:they will be able to settle down to the task
Kate

Helen said...

The female bird is doing lots of scraping in the gravel again this morning. Also lots of ee-chupping going on between the pair.

Anne said...

Wonderful videos. I predict that the egg will arrive on Easter Sunday as, at last our weather has started to warm up!

Anne of Allestree

Phoebe said...

Looks like most of us are predicting Easter Day :D

It's very quiet this morning.

Phoebe said...

The camera is hazed but I see one feeding on the tower, Falcon I think and the tiercel is sat on the spout behind her.

Anonymous said...

Really getting a bit sick of coming onto the comments bit of this blog, it is beginning to look like a chat room with certain people making pointless comments every 5mins telling us when the peregrine has blinked, slept, fed, and any other pointless piece of info...think it needs changing and moderating again...thanks.

Phoebe said...

I know you mean me Anon, why not let us know who you are! Hiding behind Anon.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately i have to agree with Anon on his one, it is ment to be factual...not chit chat between friends...sorry if this offends, check out the nottingham blog and see how thats done....Mary

AnnieF. said...

I don't have a problem with the "chit-chat" here myself because it's all peregrine-related. The blog has been conducted like this for years without a problem apart from the very occasional troll. Do we have to become politicaly correct and follow the Notts. formula? Surely the Derby style is what makes the Derby Project head and shoulders above the rest - its intimacy, the excitement of the schoolchildren etc., everyone's personal involvement. I suspect that's what helped to get such a wonderful grant. For me, it would be a great sadness to lose all that.

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

I would encourage the use of this comments section to inform others of recent activity on the nest.

I find it very helpful to see brief comments about when fouud was brought to the nest, when a pellet was produced, eee-chupping, etc.

In fact I would urge users to give exact times when they have seen particularly interesting things, as this not only gives a chronological sequence to events, it also aids me in retrieving video footage to share with you all.

Conversations around our peregrines are to be encouraged, though I would urge trivial banter between blog readers to be kept to a minimum as this will not interest others. I don't think this has occurred recently. Blog moderation does slow down the topical nature of comments, as it depends on the project team approving every message. I can think of only two occasions over the last 12 months where we have not let comments through.

Blog moderation is intentionally activated and deactivated from time to time throughout the year. I believe this has maintained a good balance, and helps bring everyone together to share their experiences of Derby's amazing peregrines.

Remember you can always view recent comments on the right hand side bar of the blog's main page. You can also follow us or engage with us on Twitter where I do post news of some of the smaller events that are happening live. You can also see those recent Tweets on the right hand side of the blog homepage.

If you've something interesting to say and share about Derby's amazing peregrines, feel free to leave a comment for others to see.

As always, off-topic and inappropriate comments are liable to be removed, especially as we know many school children to watch our webcams and read this blog.

Penny said...

Well said Nick M! I could not agree more. If I had time I would watch 24/7, but as I cannot, every little comment about movement, food passes and - hopefully soon - eggs being laid, is interesting and helpful to read. Thanks to all the people who post their snippets of information - keep up the good work!

Phoebe said...

18:33 The falcon just arrived at the scrape and ee-chupping and head bowing with the tiercel who now has flown. The falcon is in the hollow messing with the stones and scraping. She seems irritable but is spending some time there. Maybe an egg tonight!

AnnieF. said...

I just watched a complete sequence from 18.30 - 1840 which was very like the video from the other day. This time though the falcon was far more scrupulous about the hollow, changing position many times, moving pebbles with her beak, scraping at the hollow & generally being very pernickety. I agree with Phoebe that tonight's probably the night.

Kate said...

Hmm!!! 19.50 empty nest,
Maybe she will come back later..In time for breakfast EGG :) I was way out on my prediction earlier, but now I am going for Easter Sunday, gift to celebrate.
Kate

Nikki said...

No egg this morning, but mating taking place 6.57 am on parapet below.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Nikki for the update.
Quiet a few people on Facebook have been predicting the time for the first egg...so keep those predictions coming in!
Will we have 'An egg for Easter'?
For web cam watchers not living in the UK, it is still extremely cold here in Derby even though we look like having a fairly sunny day....such snow as is left is frozen hard this morning.
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

More mating at 8:30