Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fan Mail from Some Flounder

This blog is written by a VOLUNTEER that puts in 100+ hours of VOLUNTEER time before, during and after Fledge Week with the team, networking with other birding folks, taking and editing photos, updating the blog so that ALL the people who have watched the cameras over the course of the nest season can still feel like they are part of the action... This blog is for the common folk. Those of us who don't need a degree in ornithology to enjoy and appreciate nature. I started it because I was downtown VOLUNTEERING and wanted to share some of the experience. The State of Utah does not pay me for my hours nor do they have anything to do with this blog. NOBODY has a right to complain about anything with this program if you haven't had your 'boots on the ground' during fledge week. (This is written in response to someone who complained that my blog wasn't professional. To the rest of my readers, thank you for being here.)

Phew, now that I got that off my chest. BTW, any further professional explanation of Solo or Dad's conditions can be requested directly from Bob Walters. I am not a wildlife biologist, but I might have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

Here are a couple of photos caught on the cams yesterday of the new male in and leaving the nest box. Note he has no metal bands so he is not a returning juvenile from a prior nest season.


41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look forward to these updates. It really does make us feel as though we are still involved after watching from egg to fledge. Thanks for all of the pictures, the blog, VOLUNTEER hours and dedication you put into this program. Many thanks to all of the VOLUNTEERS who have been out in the heat.

Amy Pratt said...

I have followed your blog for years, from my time working at the Church Office Building, and since my retirement. I'm one of those who "lurks" in the background, wishing I was in the trenches with you. We are lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate what you do. Without your blog, I would be in "falcon withdrawal" since the fledge. I'm new to falconing, drawn in by a friend who got me hooked on the ones in St. Louis and then I moved to Solo when they fledged. What is the "mouse" that Bob saw on Solo's wing? Is it like a bruise?

Anonymous said...

Allo. I am from Montréal,Québec and I appreciate very much all you do for the falcons and for us,the lurkers.
Too bad that SLC is so far from my city because I would like to help you in watching.
Dont worry about those that always complaint. They do nothing except critique.
Continue Liz and our 3 boys, Sid, David, Zéphyr salute you from Montreal University
Excuse my english please.
Nicole Poirier

Unknown said...

Any likelihood that mom and this new guy will try to raise another brood this year?

Bekkieann said...

Your blog is newsy and filled with the information we crave about the falcons. I'm a lurker who has followed for several years. I think your blog takes exactly the right approach as an observer. Your descriptions and pictures put us downtown SLC and let us see through your eyes when we can't be there ourselves. Ignore the complainers. If they don't get it, that's their loss. I, for one, would really miss reading your updates.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all that you do. I'm here in AZ and have greatly enjoyed reading, watching, and learning from you, and all the volunteers! This is the 1st year I have watched and I became addicted. Here's hoping that Solo and his Mother can be reunited soon!

Angie said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your blog, I would love to be one of the volunteers but with the temps so hot last week I didn't want to drag my 8 yr old out in that heat. You make it possible for me to feel like I am part of everything that is going on...thank you very much for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Liz,
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE continue as you ARE, and as we ALL LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOU!!!
Without you, we'd be "nowhere"....and we want the news as you tell it!!!! Please give us updates,
as you always have, and don't make us wonder....We all love you and depend on you...
Love to you and the Falcons from Boston!!!!!
Cynthia

Anonymous said...

You do a great job Liz. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Elizabeth Cashdan said...

Watching the live cams is wonderful, but I would feel bereft without knowing what happens after the fledge. I am in awe of you and the volunteers who make this happen, and grateful to you for sharing it. Thank you.

Liz Schubert said...

Thanks Amy. I lover lurkers :) thanks for the kind words.

Liz Schubert said...

The 'mouse' was a small bump he thought he saw looking at Solo through binoculars. It may have been ruffled feathers. JoAnn said there was nothing wrong with his wings. Thanks for reading!

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you! Wonderful to have readers from other countries. I am happy to have you here and your English is wonderful!

Liz Schubert said...

I don't think so. It's a bit late in our nesting year but you never know. If her first clutch had failed, then maybe.

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you Bekkieann, it means a lot.

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you ;) I hope so too.

Liz Schubert said...

Angie, you are sweet. There will be a time for you to volunteer in the future, I'm sure. Thank you for even wanting to!

Liz Schubert said...

Cynthia! How are you? Good to hear from you and thank you!

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you, I love to do it. I follow my heart when I decide what to write or post here. Wanting it to be a joy when you open the page. Some people are just a little to uppity for their own good.

Liz Schubert said...

Elizabeth, thank you! It's a treat that needs to be shared. When I first started volunteering I had a recipe blog that I had to force myself to write. But I didn't know that it was tutoring me for the one that would be my passion and a joy. I just couldn't keep these photos to myself. I knew there had to be many people out there watching the cams and sick when fledge was over. The blog has gone from 50 people a week looking at it to 4,000 this past week. Now there is a Facebook page as well run by Crystal at Bob's office.

Stephanie said...

One great thing about your blog (and any blog quite frankly) is that nobody is forced to visit. Leaving negative comments is entirely unnecessary. As a mother of 2 school aged children living in the Avenues neighborhood of SLC, I am thankful for your blog & the webcams. My children & I have loved checking in on Solo for the past few months. It has been a great learning resource and I love that they are learning about the nature that lives outside their own backdoor. We had a peregrine falcon visit one of trees 2 summers ago & have been in awe ever since. Your blog has allowed my kids to watch the hatching, feedings & first flight of Solo, all of which we would have otherwise missed. So thank you for your dedication. I wouldn't have been able to show my children these wonderful birds and capture their budding appreciation of wildlife without the help of you & others.

Lisa Deon said...

As someone who sees the falcons during the time they spend in Salt Lake, it's always great to read Liz's reports, since I often cannot follow the birds around. I always have a great time when I can stop by "Falcon Central" and appreciate what a wonderful job all of the fabulous volunteers do. I spend a great deal of time explaining the "Falcon Watch Area" signs to locals and tourists alike, and encourage people to Google "Salt Lake Peregrine Falcons", which brings them to both the Falcon Cam and your blog. Keep up the FANTASTIC and INFORMATIVE blog, written for us average people. I know the amount of time the Falcon Folk spend in an effort to help these beautiful raptors get a leg up in their urban element. I hope the brutal heat we've been experiencing cools a bit, too, giving you volunteers a respite.

Anonymous said...

I think your blog rocks, and I appreciate all the updates, pictures, etc. It helps wean me off the web cam and it is fun to see how the falcons are doing. I am very thankful that you do this for those of us who aren't around. Thank you and don't let one criticism get you down.
-Janet Houston

Anonymous said...

Liz, I also want to thank you for your blog and the fantastic job you do. I seriously can't see how it could be better. I haven't been able to be up there as much as I'd like to this year and your blog has helped me cope :) It never ceases to amaze me how some people need to criticize in order to make themselves feel or look important. I LOVED your response (so glad you spend nights at the Holiday Inn Express lol). Here in my house we love the falcons and love you for helping us keep us informed.
Felicia

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you Stephanie for the support! Its great to know kids like it too.

Liz Schubert said...

Lisa, thank you! You have been a great help to us. What would we have done the year the bird overnighted in the tree without the carriage driver to keep watch over things?

Liz Schubert said...

Thank you Janet! I'm doing great today. Lot's of positive comments.

Liz Schubert said...

Felicia!! I missed you this year. Well, with only one kid to keep track of we had ample coverage. Next year we hope to see you more. Hugs and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Liz my name is Pam Mace and I have been following your web cams for the first time this year from the eggs to the fledge. The first thing I did every day was to turn on the computer to see what was happening with the falcon family. It was sad to see that all the eggs did not hatch, but I loved watching Solo grow and finally leave the nest. I will miss seeing that everyday. Keep up the good work. you and everyone has been doing. Is Solo able to fly yet and if so has his mother come back to find him? Thanks again. Pam

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us posted. I have followed the blog for the last two seasons and appreciate the time and effort you and others have put in to keep the rest of us updated.

Chris James said...

Liz, my husband and I think your blog is wonderful! We have a great appreciation for all the time and effort you put into this passion for the falcons. We devour your blog with each new update. If it weren't for you we wouldn’t' have been kept up-to-date on the off-season on Primo’s rehab in CO and subsequent release this past February (hope I remembered the right month). This year with Solo we've continued to be glued to your blog, the webcams, and the facebook page. We even seek out your comments and responses on the facebook page. I think it would be particularly hard to stomach criticism for something you freely give of your own self. I'm sorry for that. Maybe the critical one should start their own falcon nesting program and give their own updates? There are many more of us who love you and wait and watch for your updates. We certainly do. Cheers!
Chris, Lehi UT

Willi said...

Liz- I am in shock. I can't believe anyone would complain about this wonderful Blog of yours. I got hooked 3 years ago by someone in my office showing me 4 eggs in a nest. ( I said "what is this") When he told me they were Falcon eggs I was mesmerized. Ever since I have been one of your greatest fans. Your Blog is down to earth for those who are new to it, you make it so easy to understand. I so look forward to your daily notes keeping all of us informed. I have been down to Falcon central many times, but never seem to catch you there. Bad timing on my part. I have met Bob and visited with all of the volunteers and have taken tons of pictures. On your blog you say " send me an email as I would like to know who is watching", and I did. And you were kind enough to write me back and explain who whole program to me, which really enlightened me on Falcons. I have grown to love the season and I have probably told everyone I know to look up the website. My dear 98 year old Doctor neighbor (Dr Chandler) has loved watching this year. He has fallen in love with the birds as I have. I have felt my heart swell when they learn to fly and have felt it break when they get hurt. My hope this year is that Dad and Solo can be rehabilitated and survive. Thank you Liz for all you do and you do a LOT!! Do not let one bad note deter you. I have always said "How does she do eveything she does"? We Love you and Bob and appreciate all of your commitment to this program.

skygirlblue said...

Liz..I just want to echo everyone's thanks and support. Your blog is invaluable and is always my first stop if I have been away from the cam for any length of time and/or I want to get the "inside scoop". Being a site administrator for a birds of prey forum I certainly can appreciate the amount of time, energy, and devotion it requires to keep all of us "in the loop". I feel that we are all so fortunate to even have your blog. I can't tell you how many cams I watch where there is no communication, no update, no status report on any of the fledglings. Not only do you donate your time to this blog, but you make a point of contributing to the Facebook page as well.

SLC is so blessed to have you, Bob and the other volunteers. Your dedication is tremendous. I know your communications with Bob and others help to provide the most accurate and up to date info possible. Other nest sites are not as fortunate.

I would like to address the contributions of we "common folk" AND the experts. I am fortunate to be in communication with several wildlife biologists and rehabbers during the nesting season at different nest sites. I have learned that there are many milestones for the growing chicks. When they deviate from "the script" (such as Solo fledging with so much down still showing-just my personal opinion example) then reasons become speculative at best. Often I will exchange emails with a biologist about an unusual behavior and receive the "I have no clue, what are your theories..." response. I personally feel that these cams provide an opportunity for all of us to learn about the behaviors and interactions of these growing chicks, and I think we all learn from each other by sharing our observations. Cams are a wonderful education tool..not to mention providing awe inspiring entertainment, if you will. But, because streaming cams haven't been around decades, we are still don't have all the answers as to why certain birds do what they do. (at least I don't)

I think unless somebody is able to perform the Vulcan Mind Meld (that should date me) with one of these birds, any explanations for some of the out of character behaviors we see are strictly gonna be guesses by all!

Again, thank you so much, Liz, for all that you do...and a huge thanks to Bob and others--all the behind the scenes volunteers that give of their time to ensure that these beautiful falcons are as safe as they can be.

Anonymous said...

This is so true....thank you so much for the all the hours you contribute without pay! I appreciate all of the volunteers great work and their attempts to keep our Falcons safe during their fledging. Keep on Keeping on! Rhonda Kelley xoxo<3

Anonymous said...

You do a wonderful job. I so appreciate all everyone does. Keep up the great work and to h.ll with the other nit wit complainers. Djterry

Lisa Deon said...

All part of our service...

Anonymous said...

Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!
Thank you to all the volunteers who go out in the heat to protect the birds of prey! I still remember the picture of Bob from last year riding in the carriage after a long day in the heat.
Thank you so very much for the information you provide. Your blogspot is perfect for keeping up with what is going on. I really appreciate it!
Lou

Anonymous said...

This is my first year watching the falcons and I've loved it. I'm so glad that you take the time to post updates and let us know how things are going. Keep up the good work, and don't let the trolls get you down.

Anonymous said...

06:53 - 07:27 a.m. this morning, July 9: adult female (Mom) observed feeding and then loafing on the key icon that precedes the words Key Bank Tower (west face of the Key Bank Tower), adult boyfriend was not observed

RW

P.S. Videos secured, placed and shared with all on this site by Liz are simply superb!

Anonymous said...

FYI - I collected the only, remaining, entire egg today at 1:43 p.m. from the nest box. It weighs very little (contents desiccated?), but I intend to determine if analysis is possible. Who knows ... we may learn something! Adult(s) not observed at ground level in the usual places as I entered the JSMB and no protest mounted at man in (at rear of) nest box by either the adult female, or her boyfriend.

No new news on Solo, or Dad, but I'll update as soon as possible.

RW