General Discussion : 2016 KestrelCam Discussion

Hello! 

Welcome to the 2016 KestrelCam season! We're back with a brand-new camera courtesy of Bosch, and a new streaming platform on Youtube. If you notice the two cams are out of sync, try refreshing the page and restarting the streams. If you have technical issues or any other kind of issue, please use the contact staff link to get assistance. 

If you would like a version of this thread that shows the newest posts first, click here!

Remember to be respectful and courteous to other viewers, and enjoy the show! 

-Delora Hilleary

Comments:

Shauna's picture

I have been waiting for this all year! Ever since the last fledglings took off. I'm very much looking forward to seeing all the feed on observations, and sneaking in checkups whenever I can. Thanks for doing this!

Don McCartney's picture

How does your first-egg date of March 23 compare to last year? That leaves me wondering when we should start checking our boxes here in central Oregon's high desert. We normally have very few eggs laid in April, as the peak of egg-laying for the past 16 years has consistently been the first ten days in May.

Delorahilleary's picture

Hi Don! The egg-laying dates appear to be scooting earlier.

2012 first egg laying date: April 16th
2013 egg laying date (estimated): April 25-31st
2014 first egg laying date: April 19th
2015 first egg laying date: April 7th
2016 first egg laying date: March 23rd

Many early nesting pairs were reported in Boise last year, and with a relatively mild winter we had, I would not be surprised if early nesting was reported this year as well. One of the interesting things about the Partnership is tracking nest initiation dates across the kestrel's range!

Don McCartney's picture

Thanks, Delora. Although one can't draw any firm conclusions from the results of just one box, that is an interesting progression of first egg dates since 2013. Each year I try to get as much information as possible on first egg dates, so that I can decide when to turn my volunteers loose for their first box visit. I attempt to maximize the number of first box checks that will have counts of one to three eggs, thus establishing a reliable first egg date. What will I do this year? I'll gather all available early nesting data and for the first time, will probably do some limited early-season sampling of a few of our most reliable boxes. I say "limited", as I learned the hard way of the possible result of visiting boxes too early in the season. I opened a box in late April of 2013 and there was a female just standing on the floor (no eggs) looking back at me. A couple of seconds of that was all she could endure, so she flushed from the box. She didn't come back and that box was abandoned. However, such an early-season encounter doesn't always result in abandonment. Last year a box was checked for the first time on a normal schedule of May 7, and the female was just hanging out with no eggs laid yet. She flushed from the box, but two weeks later there were five eggs being incubated.
Last spring was warmer than normal in central Oregon, but the nest initiation dates were in line with prior years. That warm spring resulted in excellent nestling survival, as there was great availability of lizards. I'm hoping for a repeat of warm weather this June and July.

Max's picture

So already brooding. I have seen no activity on the kestrel box in my yard. No birds of any kind have even checked it out as far as I know. I moved it in January from the backyard to the front yard, but still no interest in it, not even a squirrel.

Keskes's picture

Delora,

The kestrel cam is a great idea and I enjoy watching the kestrel family growing up by having a peek each day. Having said that, I am annoyed that we can no longer view either the inside or outside cam seperately. I say this because the current split screen that shows both camera views on the same window causes each image to be significantly smaller. I watch the kestrel cam via my smart phone and it does not help that the image of the cams are much smaller to be able to fit both cams on one screen: the current split screen. Could the seperate cam view windows be reinstated; as an additional option so that people viewing it via their smart phones don't have to squint? We will only be able to view one cam at a time, but I would rather have that then these two small cam images together. What do you think?

Delorahilleary's picture

Hiya Keskes!

We implemented the single-stream method both as a way to fix the syncing issues, and as a way to free up the second laptop that was direly needed elsewhere in the organization. We definitely welcome the feedback, and while we cannot implement it at this time, we can definitely keep such options in mind in the future if we procure another laptop. :) Thanks!
-D

Keskes's picture

Hiya Delora,

So each cam needs a dedicated laptop and at the moment there is just one laptop, I understand that. But, in my humble opinion I'd rather have a nice big image of the inside of the nest stream than drastically reducing its' size so that the outside cam stream can also be shown.To me that's too much of a good thing because it takes away from clarity of what we really want to see: the adults interacting with the chicks. At the end of the day the outside cam does not nearly hold as much weight as what the inside cam shows. So much so, that the outside cam is the reason for the split screen and thus it has become the hindrance that is obscuring the inside cam's full potential clarity. The outside of the nest-box can still be shown separately in the form of a photo so that visitors can get an idea of what the nest-box and its surrounding look like :). I think many people wish they could get a bigger image of the inside cam and don't really give much of a thought about what goes on outside the nest-box because nothing much happens out there anyways; it might as well be a photo.

TerriFla's picture

I understand your viewpoint but I like the outside cam. You can easily see the weather effecting the birds, the coming and going of the adults, any outsider birds that may be around and later the fledglings entering and leaving the nest. I do wish you could turn off the action like before but understand the problem.
I love watching the birds and am glad to have the chance to observe and help out.

Minot's picture

I'm with TerriFla. I'd be unhappy if you decided to eliminate the outside camera; it's an important part of the experience of watching and am glad you figured out a way to show both with only one laptop available.

Is it possible to dedicate a donation toward the purchase of a 2nd laptop?

TerriFla's picture

I wish there was a Paypal donation button.

Jill from MN's picture

Excellent question about egg-laying dates..... It's a bit scary for the birds' sake unless it's a sign of kestrels' adaptability.

Glad to see this back, early or not!

Minot's picture

The Hello! Welcome to the 2016 KestrelCam season header paragraph says, "If the videos are out of sync for you, try refreshing the page to re-sync them," which leads me to believe that I should be seeing both inside and outside views, as in years past. However, I'm only seeing the inside view. Will the outside view be coming online soon? I hope so, as it adds a lot.

Delorahilleary's picture

Hiya Minot!

Indeed, the outside cam is not running quite yet, as the laptop that handles the stream is encountering a strange malfunction. We are currently troubleshooting it, and once we have a functioning laptop going, we will put up the outside stream as well!

I'll update the first paragraph to reflect this.

Mary J's picture

Could someone explain the rectangle space at the bottom back of the box from cam view. I am assuming the round area on the left is the in and out of box and the other is the ledge to help with the flegde.

Delorahilleary's picture

Hello Mary!

The rectangle is a cutout that is covered with plexiglass. Its entire purpose is to let additional light in for the webcam, and the kestrels do not require it in any way for breeding.

The round hole is indeed the entrance/exit. The ledge is not required for kestrels either - young kestrels can fledge just fine without it, as they are excellent hoppers and climbers at that stage of their life. The purpose of the ledge is also just for the webcam - when we get the outside cam up, it allows young chicks to peek out, which look adorable!

-Delora

Mary J's picture

I watched and did the reports a few years ago and had a great time. I got a female as she finally fledged. It was the last chick to leave. Believe that female had 5 that year, 2012. The next year I believe it was the Male lost an eye. I kind of got caught up on the Osprey nests so didn't check in much the following years.

Delorahilleary's picture

Good to have you back :)

Mary J's picture

I watched and did the reports a few years ago and had a great time. I got a female as she finally fledged. It was the last chick to leave. Believe that female had 5 that year, 2012. The next year I believe it was the Male lost an eye. I kind of got caught up on the Osprey nests so didn't check in much the following years.

Jill from MN's picture

4 beautiful speckled brown eggs tonight.... I love it.

Delorahilleary's picture

Nice spot! Beat me to it :)

Jill from MN's picture

What would be the timeline for a possible fifth egg?

Delorahilleary's picture

After today's, I would watch for the next one being laid sometime this Thursday!

Agrippa's picture

I can't help but notice how "squeaky clean" the walls of the nest box are at the beginning of nesting season. Do you put up a new nest box each year?

Delorahilleary's picture

Hello!

Typically we leave up the same nest box from year to year, and we just scrape out the old stuff and put in new bedding. However, this year we did put in a new nest box, as we got a new camera and the old nest box was beginning to fall apart. So it's squeaky clean this year....for now.

Jill from MN's picture

Hi - I have just witnessed the 'handoff' of the eggs from one bird to another, and when the female left the box and the male entered it, the video portion of the nest cam got scrambled. Does the camera need to be tweaked? It could be a momentous occasion whenever a kestrel enters and leaves the box...

Delorahilleary's picture

Hi Jill!

Thanks for letting me know. I fiddled with the cam source input, and it seems to be smoother now. The player display is visible at the bottom now, and I'll have to fiddle some more with it to remove that, but it seems to be functioning better. Let me know what you think, or if you see any other issues!

-Delora

Diane's picture

Hi. I love this cam. Thank you for making this available to the public! I don't know if anyone else is experiencing this, but the sound constantly drops in and out. Didn't have this problem last year. Thanks!

Minot's picture

The inside box camera is now working really well. I just saw the female enter the box with wings and tail spread; she made a beautiful picture. Thanks for fixing it. Also, sound is working well.

Delorahilleary's picture

I'm glad to hear my fix worked! Thanks everyone for the feedback :)

-Delora

Shauna's picture

What can I do when I flub up a report? I could have sworn it was the female, but no, it was the male. Garn.

Delorahilleary's picture

Hiya Shauna, worry not! You can just submit the same report with the correct sex, and the later one would tell me the corrected sighting.
-D

Minot's picture

Thanks, Shauna, for asking the question, and Delora for the answer; I just now did the same thing.

Diane's picture

Thanks for fixing the sound!

Delorahilleary's picture

You are quite welcome, I'm glad it's doing well now! :)

Jill from MN's picture

Hi - I have just been watching the female kestrel rocking back and forth on top of her eggs for about 5 minutes. Wonder how uncomfortable a brood patch can get and how experienced this pair is... always well worth watching.

PS: I get to meet an 'educator' kestrel up close at the Raptor Center in a few weeks. So excited!

Jill from MN's picture

BTW: I notice that a lot of dissertations on kestrels written within the last five years have to do with their exposure to PCBs and other chemicals, and possible weakening of eggshells. Keeping my fingers crossed that there's absolutely no sign of that here!

Shauna's picture

What is that rectangular object in the nest box? What major event did I miss?

Delorahilleary's picture

Hi Shauna!

During the winter we had Northern Flickers pecking the microphone during the winter, so we velcro'd a little wood bit over the mic this time to protect it. However it seems the adhesive failed with the heat, so it fell down.

I snuck up and grabbed the wood bit quickly out of the box while both adults were away. No harm done!

Shauna's picture

LOL I wondered if it was technical stuff! Glad you could fix the situation quickly, and I hope the Northern Flickers find a different microphone for lunch. Is it shiny or something? Why were they even interested?! Yeah, seems the Kestrels are just glad to be incubating once again. Thanks much for the update!

Diane's picture

Hi from the Hudson Valley in NY! I hear red-winged blackbirds singing in the background. Is the nest near a wetlands?

Sarah Schulwitz's picture

Good ear! We have lots of red-winged blackbirds up here this time of year. At the World Center for Birds of Prey, we are located atop a ridge with almost no water nearby (only a small duck pond pretty far from the box). This time of year the blackbirds hang out at our feeders.

Diane's picture

Hi Sarah. That's interesting. Around here they stay exclusively near water and marshes. I am also on a ridge but despite my proximity to ponds and wetlands, they never visit any of my feeders. Too bad, as I love their song and they are one of the first birds of spring here.

Sarah Schulwitz's picture

Diane, I thought it interesting too! I just moved to Boise, ID (to start with The Peregrine Fund) and have spent most of my life in North Carolina and Texas....previously, I had never seen them visit feeders in either of those places and like you said, I always saw them near wetlands/ponds/lakes in NC and TX. Every once in a while, there will also be a yellow-headed blackbird joining the red-wings at the feeders up here....so those have been really exciting for me to see this spring!

Diane's picture

Cool beans! I've never seen a yellow-headed blackbird. Are they a western species?

Delorahilleary's picture

Preening while sitting on eggs appears to be a challenging art.

TerriFla's picture

Boy it is really windy out there today! Love these webcams!

Delorahilleary's picture

Yup, we got some incoming storm fronts! It's going to be a rainy few days coming up.

Thanks for tuning in, glad you have you!

Passagehawk's picture

When logging in from the UK the cameras are showing two different times: internal nest box cam is two hours behind external one. Both claim that they are live but....

Delorahilleary's picture

Hello! Awesome to hear that you are turning in from the UK - thanks for joining us!

Occasionally, Youtube will pull from a cached version of the webcam when initialized, insteading of using the current live one. While it usually reverts to being live within 10 seconds, it's odd to hear that it was using the cached version long enough for you to notice it. The two appear to be synced from our end. Did refreshing the cam fix it? If not, let us know and we'll look into it!

Thanks so much!
Delora

Posted in General Discussion by Delorahilleary 3 years 4 months ago.

 

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