May 8, 2013 6:10 AM   Subscribe

A pair of Peregrine Falcons, which have successfully nested on the roof of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst for the past 11 years, have a live webcam.
posted by (38 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Aww. Fwuffy widdle pwedators...
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:15 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

amazing quality. Great to see falcons up close. I wonder about the remaining egg. I suppose it's not going to hatch, so what will the falcons do with it? Eat the egg for protein? Roll it out of the nest? Let it rot?
posted by anewnadir at 6:17 AM on May 8, 2013

There should probably be some sort of warning for the very sensitive among us that falcon / hawk cams are often not for the squeamish, both in terms of the dismembered or half-dead prey they bring back for the chicks, and for the sometimes alarming competitive play between the chicks.

Last year on the Cornell hawk-cam there were folks on the associated chat seriously freaking out whenever the older chicks pecked at the weaker just-hatched ones. It does look pretty brutal sometimes. (It seems younger chicks do generally make it through and catch up in size to survive, though - that was definitely the case with the hawk-cam last year.)
posted by aught at 6:21 AM on May 8, 2013

My first thought was: "Hawkward..."
posted by mystyk at 6:23 AM on May 8, 2013

There's also a Peregrine cam for the falcons living on top of the Hamilton Sheraton, but it's a stop-motion thing. Madame X is just sitting on her eggs, waiting. Aww.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:24 AM on May 8, 2013

anewnadir - if the falcons are anything like the hawks I've seen on local cams, there can be a gap of a few days between hatchings.
posted by aught at 6:26 AM on May 8, 2013

They look like teeny, fuzzy dinosaurs!

The San Jose (CA) nestcam is showing one of the fledglings perched on the edge of the roof (they nest on top of City Hall). The San Francisco nest has been full of drama this season - Diamond Lil, the female, disappeared soon after laying the clutch, and the male, Dan, tried to incubate the eggs alone but couldn't manage it what with needing to hunt. A new female (Cher) started coming around, and a new clutch was started. Hatch week was calculated to have been more than a week ago, but no hatching has happened yet, although incubation continues.
posted by rtha at 6:30 AM on May 8, 2013

This is the highest-quality birdcam I've seen. Amazing. Thanks for posting.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:31 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Missouri Peregrines, from the west side of the state and the east.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:32 AM on May 8, 2013

Another fine peregrine webcam here in Sheffield, UK. Three chicks and counting.
posted by yaxu at 6:35 AM on May 8, 2013

All I see is a feathery butt.
posted by elizardbits at 6:44 AM on May 8, 2013

posted by Johnny Assay at 6:55 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Remember the Decorah Eagles? I don't think birdcams are good for my social life.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:10 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]



posted by jillithd at 7:16 AM on May 8, 2013

Question: It's says the pair have been at this location for 11 years...what is the life-expectancy of a Peregrine?
posted by incandissonance at 7:16 AM on May 8, 2013

the year is 2013 and i am voluntarily watching a bird twerk angrily at me
posted by elizardbits at 7:21 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do bird eyelids close from the bottom up? Is that what I'm seeing?

Also the mom (I think) keeps closing her eyes for a second and then opening them again when one of the chicks moves in the universal parent langauge of, "I... can't... nap... yet..."
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:33 AM on May 8, 2013

Isn't that the nictitating membrane thingy?
posted by elizardbits at 8:00 AM on May 8, 2013

I've said this in other peregrine-related threads, I know, but if you're interested in learning more about them then J.A. Baker's book The Peregrine is an absolute must-read. In fact, as is often pointed out by those who have discovered what is a truly unique and astonishing book, it's one of the most mysterious and moving texts about the relationship between humans, animals, and the natural landscape.
posted by hydatius at 8:10 AM on May 8, 2013

The University of Pittsburgh has had a camera like this going for at least five years here.

The video quality may not match the UMass site, but I am certain that the Cathedral of Learning makes a much more attractive falcon perch.
posted by janewman at 8:15 AM on May 8, 2013

posted by elizardbits at 8:53 AM on May 8, 2013

Here you go, babies. Some fresh bloody carcass. Open wide!
posted by jillithd at 9:09 AM on May 8, 2013

Actual thing I said after many long minutes of a falcon just sitting there: "This falcon-cam is actually pretty borin--- IS THAT A BABY FALCON?!?! AWWWWWWW, BABY FALCON SO FLUFFFFFFFY!"
posted by Elsa at 9:36 AM on May 8, 2013

They are like angry little balls of dryer lint.
posted by elizardbits at 9:42 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Someone want to organize a charity drive to get the camera a stabilizer?

(And at first I thought this would be a webcam attached to the birds. Sad now.)
posted by ymgve at 10:14 AM on May 8, 2013

They are like angry little balls of dryer lint.

Yes! And in a fairly short time, they will be angry little balls of dryer lint with giant, deadly talons and the ability to rip their own pieces of pigeon/starling/duck to shreds without parently help. So cute!
posted by rtha at 10:27 AM on May 8, 2013

"PredatorCAM" sounds like they're trying to catch criminals with it. I'd like to see a PreyCAM too, maybe in a gopher hole. Then you can watch them get picked up by falcons.
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:48 AM on May 8, 2013

So is that the male or the female sitting on the brood?
posted by Gungho at 11:15 AM on May 8, 2013

Gee thanks for destroying my day's productivity :-)
posted by leslies at 11:53 AM on May 8, 2013

At the moment, probably the female, although without seeing them together it's harder to tell (the female is much larger). The current bird also looks a little more brown-grey to me, and the males tend to be more blue-grey.
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on May 8, 2013

I strongly feel that if more species spent a lot of time sitting on their young to subdue their peepings our society at large would be a better place.

Also it would be great if all you needed to do to make a baby go to sleep was to throw a blankie over its cage.
posted by elizardbits at 12:18 PM on May 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by elizardbits at 12:18 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is perfect for a day home sick. It's mesmerizing.

What cute little baby falcons.
posted by medusa at 2:24 PM on May 8, 2013

OK, there are 2 cams running at this site at all times. Sometimes there are airborne predators and sometimes there are just black bear cubs doing all the painfully cute things that bear cubs do.

Click here for painfully cute bear cubs - during daylight hours.

In the interest of full disclosure I am on the Board of the Wildlife Center and have been pushing hard to get our patient's stories told more graphically. It's an amazing organization full of smart, caring folks trying to make a difference. Check them out!
posted by skepticbill at 7:06 PM on May 8, 2013

OH LOOKIT THE BABBY BEARS. Also I like how the scientists? researchers? are dressed in shiny suits, rather like Devo.
posted by elizardbits at 6:30 AM on May 9, 2013

Aww. I just saw one of the chicks poop. So cute. *squirt*
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:35 AM on May 9, 2013

Tried it out just in time to see one of the parents dismembering a house sparrow, how cute!
posted by kzin602 at 11:44 AM on May 9, 2013

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