Alcoa Anglesea Peregrine Falcon Webcam—2008 Archive

2008 Season Diary Updates

Thursday November 27, 2008
The falcons have left the building. Alcoa Anglesea has reached the end of another successful falcon breeding season. The three chicks for 2008 - Midnight, Rocket and Stan - have taken flight. Here is one of the last pictures with all three boys at the nest box. We hope you have enjoyed the 2008 season on the web and that you'll tune in again in 2009. If you have any feedback on the information and images we have provided this year, please contact us at ANGFalcons@alcoa.com.au.

Thursday November 20, 2008
This week all three boys have taken flight and spent time exploring the nest box roof, the ledge of the water tower and further afield. However they all made sure they were home in time for dinner!

Sheila and Havoc have made individual visits to the nest box in the last two days, but otherwise we've been left looking at an empty nest box containing only feathers and associated debris.

Friday November 14, 2008
Great news!  Stan has returned to the nest box to join Midnight and Rocket.

Thursday November 13, 2008
Midnight and Rocket have spent this week flapping their wings, hanging out on the perch and venturing out as far as they dare. Midnight took his adventure further this afternoon and sat on the railing of the water tower for a couple of hours leaving Rocket home alone in the nest box. Midnight returned safely at 16:30 EDST.

Monday November 10, 2008
Stan has taken flight.  The chicks have spent the last week venturing out to the very edge of the nest box and flapping their wings.  This weekend, whether deliberate or accidental, Stan left the nest box to begin his exploration of the wider world.  While they are in the early stages of learning to fly, employees around the power station keep a special eye out for the juveniles.  Stan has since been sighted at several different locales around the plant with his protector Sheila flying above keeping a careful eye on his position.  At this stage, Midnight and Rocket wait in the nest box for news from their little brother's big adventure.

Thank you to Lucy from Poland of the image of Stan practicing before his first flight.

Thursday November 6, 2008
How can you tell if it is Midnight, Rocket or Stan? In previous years with both male and female chicks in the nest box the size difference, with the female chicks being noticeably larger, has been the key.  However this year with three boys, the size difference between them all is minimal.  The unique code combination on the bands is the only definitive way to tell who's who.

All of the lads have a green powder-coated band on their left leg.  This stainless steel band is issued by the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme's office in Canberra.  The colour of this band allows us to identify the year of birth of a bird.  On their right leg is a two-tone aluminium band with a unique code combination.  The combination of the codes and colours identify who the individual is.  All of the bands this year are green over black with the three individuals identified by the following codes: Midnight Z/V; Rocket W/A; and Stan Z/Z.

Thursday October 30, 2008
We are proud to announce Alcoa Anglesea's three falcon chicks for 2008; Midnight, Rocket and Stan.

Those watching the webcam would've seen Victor Hurley from the Victorian Peregrine Project and Elise Jeffery, Environmental Scientist at Alcoa at the nest box at 9.30AM EDST.  The visit was quick as both Sheila and Havoc were relentless in their swooping (and striking) behaviour. Chin straps are no longer optional!

Grade 2 students for the Anglesea Primary School were on the ground to witness the measurement, health check and banding of the three male chicks.  Here is Stan showing off his new shiny bands. Three students from the school, Myee, Klara and Emily, had their names chosen from the class list for this year's chicks.  Well done girls!  Thank you to our online viewers from Canada, Germany, Italy, UK and USA who contributed names.  Unfortunately due our last announcement posting and timezones they were not received until the banding was complete.  Rest assured they are on file for next year.

Monday October 27, 2008
Thursday is banding day.  Between 9 - 10AM EST researchers from the Victorian Peregrine Project will travel up to the nest box to retrieve the chicks for their health assessment and banding.
 
Each year we have a tradition to name the new falcon chicks.  Now that our birds have gone global, we're asking those watching over the world wide web for nominations.  If you would like to nominate a name, please email us with your nomination, whether it is suitable for male or female and what the name means to you.

Thursday October 23, 2008
It's not easy living in an urban environment...for man or bird! Since choosing the Power Station as their breeding site, there has been safety concerns over swooping Peregrine Falcons for employees working at heights.  What started off as a gentle fright feeling the breeze of flapping wings as a falcon flashed by has escalated in recent years with Sheila fiercely defending her territory with repeated strikes to hard hats!  Unique situations require unique solutions so this week an avenue of flags was installed.  The aim is to provide cover for employees to freely walk around exposed locations on the highest floor of the Power Station with the flapping flags providing a visual obstacle that the Peregrines will avoid.

Thursday October 16, 2008
This week Sheila has spent most of her time guarding the chicks, waiting for Havoc to return from hunting.  Sometimes you can see Sheila having a "bath" freshening up the feathers or a stretch of the legs while she waits patiently.

Monday October 6, 2008
Good things come in threes.  After the failure of all the eggs to hatch in 2006 and 2007 it is a welcome sight to see all egg shells discarded and three little bundles huddled together in the nest box.

Sunday October 5, 2008
Sheila won't unveil what she is hiding but the number of half egg shells present in the nest box, suggests a second chick has hatched.

Saturday October 4, 2008
The first of the chicks has hatched.  Click here to see Sheila giving us a sneak peak at the bundle of fluff sitting amongst the eggs.

Thursday October 2, 2008
It's the last few days before hatching and the female now becomes reluctant to leave the nest, and is aggressive towards the male if he offers to take over incubation.  Hard to tell from the normal day-to-day aggressive Sheila!  The eggs will generally hatch on successive days with the egg that was laid first hatching first.  Occasionally two eggs may hatch on the same day, or a day or two passes between hatching.  Right now the waiting continues.

Thursday September 25, 2008
Typically the female sits on the eggs throughout the night, and also for much of the day. The male may take over for short shifts through the day so that the female can get away and hunt for herself or he may hunt for her and deliver the food to the nest box. Click here to see Sheila and Havoc exchanging pleasantries at the end of another long day in the nest box.

Thursday September 18, 2008
The picture you see if you click here will be a familiar one for the next few weeks as the eggs are rarely left uncovered, rain, hail or shine. For Peregrines, the incubation period is 33 to 35 days from the date the last egg was laid.  A quick calendar check and it looks like an expected hatching day will be around October 5 - 7.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Looks like three eggs is the final clutch size for this year.
  
The eggs were left mostly unattended until the last egg arrived, now incubation begins. Every 20 - 30 minutes you'll see Sheila stand up, stretch the legs, rotate the eggs to ensure even incubation and then sit down again in a new position.  Click here to see Sheila rotating her three eggs.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
The third egg has arrived.  Click here to see Sheila guarding her three eggs in the nest box.

Sunday, August 31, 2008
The female Peregrine Falcon usually lays one egg every 48 hours and right on cue a second egg is present today. Click here to see two eggs in the nest box.

Friday, August 29, 2008
Havoc and Sheila took their time to settle into the nest box this year with an intermittent presence in the lead up to the traditional breeding season.  However once they moved in they certainly got down to business.  Today we saw that Sheila has laid her first egg for 2008. Click here to see a glimpse of the first egg for 2008.