Monday, June 14, 2010

Peregrin Falcon Eggs Hatch at Red Deer's Telus Tower

      The peregrine eggs in the nest on the Telus Tower in Red Deer Hatched this week. What excitement!

      I have a link on my blog to the web cam set up by the Red Deer River Naturalists(RDRN) on the Telus Tower in Red Deer. Since I am on the board of RDRN as chairman I have been more than a little interested in this venture. During the incubation I checked in about once a week. As time went on I became more intrigued by the comments on the chat line. Now don't get me wrong the birds are of major interest as well.

       The quality of the web cam pictures was not great. Color and detail were of low quality. One would think these birds are a brilliant blue. They are not. The female is a gray blue  . One has to use some imagination to get gray blue from the web cam . The male back is a rich dark brown. The birds look to be quite small but the males are 38 to 43 cm long . The females are 43 to 48 cm long. Their wing spans are from 90 to 117 cm. So they are a fairly large tough bird. One would not get these details from the web cam although many viewers did research and found these details. One would think that the eggs are a brilliant red . They are not. The eggs are more a reddish brown. So if you've never seen a peregrine in the wild , you probably wouldn't recognize it from the web cam pictures.

     I had the good fortune to live on the "Isolated Farm" and see many things in nature as the real thing. When I was a boy our chickens didn't come from hatcheries. The hens would quietly disappear and brood eggs on a nest. Sometimes we found the nest and watched the progress. Several times I was fortunate enough to see the hatch. There were many duck nests as the stubble was left in the fall. When spring farm work began many ducks were nesting in this ideal  habitat. So many times we watched the progress of duck nests. Robins were plentiful and we watched them hatch as well. When you've been fortunate to see the real thing, one wonders what kind of perception people take away from TV and web cams which do not accurately represent the natural conditions.

     It was also interesting to note how the "chatters" looked at the birds as if they thought like humans!  Comments relating to birth and children were interesting. So our perception of the birds is clouded by our own perception. It's difficult to make ourselves think as a bird or even imagine how a bird thinks. I was a teacher. I don't think we did a very good job of thinking as children would see the world. Or for that matter men and women have a different make up and we find it difficult to understand one another at times. "Men Are From Mars and Women are from Venus" was a very interesting read. Each bird species has it's own psychological make up which it receives from it's gene make up. As an aside , since they can now do gene studies they think the falcons are closer to the parrot family than the hawk family.

        Now that the eggs have hatched there is much more action in the nest. To watch the behaviour of these birds as they care for their young is fascinating and there is much that can be learned. Many people have been drawn to this site and their interest an knowledge has grown. I hope that some of these people will now get into the field with their new found knowledge.