Posted by: grperegrines | 03/25/2020

3/25/2020: GVSU nest has 4 eggs

Egg #4 arrived this afternoon, between 1 pm and 6 pm.   At this point, I expect the adults are in full incubation mode, though there is a small chance that another egg could be laid.  Eggs hatch 33-35 days after full incubation begins, which means we can expect chicks somewhere in the April 26-30 window.

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/23/2020

GVSU nest cam links

For some reason, I can’t get the link to the ceiling cam in the GVSU nest box to work in the list on the right side of this page.  I’m hoping it will work from this post.  I strongly recommend you bookmark the links, but you should be able to find this post again if needed.  These both work best in Chrome.

Ceiling cam:

Side cam:

Thank you for your patience.

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/23/2020

3/23/2020: GVSU egg #3 has arrived

I just caught a glimpse as she was moving around, about 9:15 am.

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/21/2020

3/21/2020: GVSU Egg #2 is here

My first look at egg #2 was about 3pm this afternoon.  If anyone saw it earlier, please let me know when!


Posted by: grperegrines | 03/19/2020

3-19-2020: GVSU pair welcomes Spring with egg#1

Thanks to Ron for his 7:55am email notifying me that an egg had been laid some time before that.  As far as I know, this is the earliest egg ever for the peregrines that have called Grand Rapids home.  This is the second season for this pair, female A/20 and male Cheetah, *R/*P, which might explain the early start.  Established pairs don’t need as much pair bonding time before starting their clutch.

As a reminder, eggs are generally laid every other day, maybe a little further apart with the later eggs.  The average clutch size is 3-4, with as many as 7 on record.  The Kent County Courthouse pair has a history of laying 1-3 eggs.  Full incubation won’t start until egg 3 or 4 is laid, though if the temperature drops near or below freezing, they may start earlier.  With the warmer temps we’ve had, uncovered eggs will be fine for quite a while.

The Courthouse pair has been observed in the vicinity of the nest box, but I’m not sure how much time they are spending in the box itself.  I’d welcome news of any sightings of this pair.

I hope watching the falcons brings you joy, or at least provides a distraction, during this time of uncertainty.

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/12/2020

3/13/20: GVSU male finally ID’d

Earlier today, Kathy from GVSU caught a screen shot that finally showed the bottom band on the resident male.  His left leg band is a black sideways R over a “pink” sideways P.  (I think the P is just now visible because the tape placed over it at banding has worn off.)  According to the Midwest Peregrine Society’s database, this falcon hatched and was banded in May 2014 in Fort Wayne, IN.  He was named “Cheetah” at the time of his banding.  So, the pair using the GVSU nest box are both from Indiana.  Cheetah is going to be 6 years old and A/20 will be 3 years old come May.

Interestingly, the nest where Cheetah was born was briefly home to a male that hatched in the Kent County Courthouse box.  Depending on the exact timing, it is possible that male (named “Will after our own John Will), is Cheetah’s father.  Just another fun coincidence in the falcon world…

Posted by: grperegrines | 03/08/2020

3/8/2020: Countdown to eggs begins

There were enough sightings over the winter to know that both peregrine pairs were staying in town, but they weren’t showing up regularly.  That started to change in late January and February, with both pairs seen checking out their nest boxes.  Thanks to the excellent views we get with the new cams, we’ve been able to confirm that the same male (sideways R/?) and female (A/20) as last year are currently claiming the GVSU nestbox.  Unfortunately, the identities of the Courthouse pair are unknown, though with reports of falcons in the area most of the winter, they are probably the same as last year, too.

The GVSU pair have been doing their spring housekeeping, scraping to create the depression for the eggs.  They will also be defending the nest, keeping watch for other peregrines migrating up the river, either from the nest box or from high building perches.  Similar activity is probably happening at the Courthouse, though I haven’t gotten any reports to confirm that.

I’m not sure how the mild winter will impact the timing of egg-laying.  Based on the last few years, eggs should appear before the end of March, but I won’t be surprised if it is closer to the 15th than the 31st.

Reminder: the new cams work best in Chrome, where you can zoom in and see alternate views.  Links are listed on the right side of this page.

As always, please send me reports of falcon sightings, especially near the Courthouse box.


Posted by: grperegrines | 11/06/2019

11/6/19: New cameras for GVSU nest box

You may have noticed that the GVSU camera has not been available for several months now.  This was due to the installation of two new cameras, one on the same side as the original cam and one on the ceiling of the box.  Both offer streaming video, but as far as I know, not sound.  The cameras are best viewed using Chrome, where more of the settings are adjustable. You should not have to install any extra Axis software, even if asked.  Viewing the cams in Firefox or Internet Explorer doesn’t always work.

Links to the two cameras are below.  Many thanks to the GVSU folks who funded the purchase and installation of the cameras, and make the streams available on the internet.

Side cam:       Ceiling cam:

As for the falcons, two have been observed in and around the area of the GVSU box.  Less frequently, a falcon has been seen in the area of the courthouse.  I’ve never been able to find where that pair hangs out once it gets cold, so let me know if y/when you see a falcon in the Michigan Hill area.


Posted by: grperegrines | 09/04/2019

9/4/19: Here and there

As you’ve probably guessed, there hasn’t been much peregrine falcon action to report these last two months.  It isn’t unusual for the falcons to enjoy being away from “home” as soon as the fledglings are flying well.  I’ve not heard anything about the juveniles, good or bad.  We probably won’t hear about them, unless they establish a territory somewhere with a nest cam or diligent observers.

The reason I’m posting today is because I had a fun sighting this morning.  I was stopped at the light at Michigan and Ionia when I saw a falcon flying.  Suddenly it picked up speed and stooped on some birds (starlings, maybe?) near Ottawa and 196.  It missed, and looped around to land on the letters, south side of the MSU/Secchia building.  About half and hour later, an adult peregrine was perched in box 9 from the north, east side of the State building, likely the same bird.

In August I was sent a few screen shots of the adult female (A/20) making brief visits to the nest box.  I haven’t seen the falcons in the area of the GVSU box for some time, so it was good to know she was still around.

The falcons are so often out of sight during the fall and winter that I really appreciate any reports of peregrine sightings in the Grand Rapids area.  Many thanks to those who have sent me reports in the past!

Posted by: grperegrines | 07/03/2019

7/3/19: Out and about

Over the last 2 weeks there have been several sightings of the Eberhard Center juveniles near, and in, the nest box.  Yesterday it was the female juvenile taking refuge for a bit, and spending time with Mom.  However, they are also spending more and more time away from the box.  With so many perching options, they are usually out of sight.  Mom and Dad are probably using food to help them learn the skills they’ll need as adults.  It will be a while yet before they are successfully feeding themselves.  We’ve got about a month before they leave the area to migrate and/or find their own territory.  Mom and Dad would chase them away if they returned here as adults.

I’ve have not seen, or gotten any reports, about the juvenile from the Kent County Courthouse nest since her rescue.  The adults aren’t being seen in the nest box area, either.  I’m choosing to be hopeful that she and her parents have simply moved to a different area for her training.

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