Sunday, August 21, 2011

Update from Bob Walters

I talked to Bob on Thursday evening and he told me he was downtown and had seen a bird on the east side of COB, a juvenile, and it took off flying east of State Street. That is interesting, possibly they are hanging out on the cathedral. He also said he saw the two adults fly in around dark and land on the two bank buildings on either side of Main and South Temple. Here is a follow up note he sent to me
on Friday:

Follow-up report to conversation with Liz on August 18 at 8:16 p.m., or so: angled malar tips suggest that the young-of-the-bird observed on the east rail above the plexiglass on the tall Church Office Building was Charlie.

Later, 8:59 -9:08 p.m., I observed a young-of-the-year bird at roost on the lower right-hand corner of the 6th from the top, fire escape opening on the west side, north face of the tall Church Office Building.

Also, despite repeated calls and messages to return my calls, I've received no word from my contact at the Intermountain Medical Center as to a check/look into the nest box where a few of us have spotted a single adult on the large sign visible on the east face from State Street.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


The hummingbirds are coming back to our feeders. The first video is of a Black Chinned hummer. The second is a turf war. These go on all the time. One sits in the trees just across from the feeder and if 'anyone' tries to feed, he runs 'em off.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Notes from Bob

I received this brief note of updates from Bob Walters today, it appears the kids are hunting:

I was downtown on Saturday evening on August 6. I watched a young-of-the-year bird stoop on a pigeon from the southeast corner of the Key Bank Tower (KBT) to the east of State Street (it missed) and then return toward the KBT and out of view. Later, I noted a bird (impossible to determine if an adult, or young-of-the-year) at roost up against the tinted glass where the glass intersects the main column on the west side on the south face of the COB and Cynthia picked up a bird at roost on the twelfth barred, fire escape opening on the north side of the COB.

Plus ... I visited the IMC on Sat., August 6 and from <19:45 - 19:55 observed and studied an adult tiercel PEFA (Peregrine Falcon)  perched on the lower, right-hand corner of the lower, support member of the sign (Intermountain Medical Center). No word, so far from the maintenance fellow who was going to take a look into the nest box.

All for now.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another Salt Lake Area Falcon Box

I am very excited to report that I saw a peregrine at another location in the Salt Lake area. A week ago, Bob told me about a falcon box that was installed on the Intermountain Health Care building in Murray, Utah. He said that the guy who installed it has not really been communicative, so Bob stopped to see if there might be youngsters. He was not really expecting that it was used this year. He did see a bird on the east face of the largest building but it was behind the sign and nothing but the face was visible. I stopped last weekend also, to see if I could see anything. Nothing.

But today, I stopped after going to the farmer's market and lo and behold there was a bird sitting on the west side (out of that east sun) right next to the 'M' on the Inter Mountain sign. I was so excited and it looked like a juvenile! I got out my camera, got all focused and realized that I didn't have my memory card inserted - it was at home in my computer. Rats. So I made a trip back there late this afternoon and after hunting a bit, I found this bird and I also got a good shot of the falcon box and the excrement flowing down the sides of the hospital. Its very apparent that birds have been using this area quite a bit, indicating that there were probably chicks. Yay! This bird looks like an adult, darn. I will be stopping back again this week to look some more. In case you are wondering, there are no cameras in this box but who knows, maybe the hospital could be talked into putting them in!

See the excrement on the right side of the windows?

Its very apparent here! And look there is a bird on the ledge/sill!

Wow, it looks like a lot of falcons hang out here!

See her under the 'r'?

I bet its a female.

This is where I saw the bird this morning, but it was in shade, just to the left of the 'M'

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday Night Photos

I went to Temple Square late last night, really too late to catch any flights but I snapped this picture of a bird roosting on the COB at dark. Bob thought he saw a juvenile on the south side roosting, so this may have been Bobbie on the north side.First, though, I want to share a photo 'collage' that SkygirlBlue sent me to compare bird sizes in the box, in hopes that we can conclude that the bird in the box on Wednesday was indeed Charlie. You can see that the bird on the far right is larger than the other two, it's the adult female, the middle phots is the adult male, so we are thinking that the left side is a juvenile male. I asked Bob and he confirmed that the juveniles are full size when they leave the next.

I sure wish I could get a photo with both juvies. According to Bob, the adults don't roost here, this is a juvie hang out.
Sixth window down on the right side of center column.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bird in the Box

Today, unexpectedly, a juvenile showed up in the box and I think it was Charlie! What do you think? Sorry, these are from a camera phone and low resolution. Its a juvenile for sure and it sure looks small.Thanks Cynthia for sending them to me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Testing Results

Bob called me late this afternoon and said he received the results from USU on Amelia and Sally. He laughed that it would be easier to drop a copy off than to try to find it in his insane email inbox. When he arrived, we reviewed the results and had a brief discussion on the surprising findings that Sally was said to be emaciated. The rehab expert disagreed, saying the bird she handled seemed healthy weight. We also noticed that the report listed both birds as male - that is a little concerning but I suppose it could have been a clerical mistake. Bob concluded in the end that learning to fly in a city is very tough. There are unforgiving surfaces everywhere and he wonders/maybe assumes that Sally may have been the bird that smacked in to the window during that first week. Another question is how long was she stuck on the office building, or was she already sick and fell there, hitting her head.

The watch for Charlie and Bobbie will continue off and on as people have time to come downtown in the evenings. It is probably the best time, since Charlie does not seem to appear until the sun sets. Slowly over the next few weeks, if not earlier, the sightings will be fewer. Another new development is the adults coming back to the nest box and hanging out for long periods of time. I asked Bob about it today and he said it's possibly a 'taking back' of their territory behavior OR the light at the time of year triggers a nesting behavior. Bob joked that if they lay another clutch, he's turning the project over to me - he's too tired!

So here is the summary of the results from the wildlife department:

There was no sign of infectious disease in either bird. The lab saw evidence that both birds suffered from a huge fall. Bird number 1 had a ruptured crop (see definition at end of post) that led to a bacterial infection as well as a bruised heart. Bird number 2 was extremely emaciated and the crop/intestines were completely empty. The second bird also had a contusion on the top of the head attributed to a large fall.”

The summary from the lab written in the report on each bird was listed as follows:

Bird #1:

Cause of death is bacterial sepsis caused by infection of the crop compounded by infection of subcutaneous tissue secondary to rupture of the crop. Crop infections (ingluviitis) can occur due to ingestion of heavily contaminated ( bacteria) feed or is more commonly secondary to crop stasis in young birds.

Bird #2:

There is no evidence of infectious disease in this animal. The entire GI tract was empty indicating this animal did not feed for at least a few days. Metabolic complications associated with inanition in young birds include hypoglycemia, which may have contributed to a fall in this case, explaining the contusion on the top of the head.

Definition of crop: In a bird's digestive system, the crop is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat. It is a part of the digestive tract, essentially an enlarged part of the esophagus. As with most other organisms that have a crop, the crop is used to temporarily store food. Not all birds have a crop. In adult doves and pigeons, the crop can produce crop milk to feed newly hatched birds.Scavenging birds, such as vultures, will gorge themselves when prey is abundant, causing their crop to bulge. They subsequently sit, sleepy or half torpid, to digest their food.Most raptors have one; like falcons, hawks, eagles and vultures (as stated above) but owls do not.