Alberta Conservation Association

June 24, 2011 18:59 ET

Peregrine Chick Hatch Watch

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this release.

Follow two female peregrines and their growing families in Edmonton, Alberta.

One peregrine cam is following a falcon known as E4. She's currently raising her two chicks on the Bell Tower, the highest and most coveted nesting spot in the city, where she's been the reigning peregrine since 2004. Her chicks are three weeks old today and have started spreading their wings. See the adult peregrines as they bring in fresh takeout (Edmonton's pigeon and seagull populations are living in fear at the moment!) multiple times a day. Watch E4's family.

The second camera is following M07, fondly known as Miss Edmonton. She's hatched two of her five eggs so far and we're anxiously anticipating the arrival of more chicks. One of our viewers noticed a pip in a third egg last night at 9:06 p.m. MST, meaning it could hatch any hour now. Watch the chicks hatch live.

The peregrine cams are powered by Bell Solutions, an ACA Corporate Partner in Conservation, and Snap Security.

Surveillance technology reserved until now for top secret intelligence is streaming the real time video of these extraordinary peregrine falcons and their chicks. Both cameras are wireless and powered by green energy (wind turbines). E4's camera also rotates 360 degrees, and biologists can log in remotely and control it to get right into the action.

The high-tech cameras transmit extraordinarily crisp images, unusual for web cams. This surveillance technology has never been used to monitor wildlife. It's been available for three years, and is just starting to be used outside government and law enforcement applications. Thanks to auto-tracking software on the camera following E4, viewers can see the peregrines come and go, watch feeding times, and experience the daily lives of peregrine chicks before they take an epic leap of faith from the 32nd floor of a high-rise.

For scientists, the real time webcam technology helps them understand more about these falcons.

Alberta Peregrine Facts

  • Since 1970, the peregrine falcon has made quite the comeback in Alberta – from one breeding pair left in 1970 to 68 pairs counted last summer during the national peregrine survey. Conducted every 5 years, the survey helps biologists assess how well these raptors are recovering. Read about the national peregrine survey completed last summer in "The Last Peregrine: Why Surveys Matter."
  • Peregrines are currently listed as Threatened in Alberta. They were removed from the Endangered list in 2000.

QUOTATIONS

  • Ken Kranrod, Vice President, ACA:

"These kinds of cameras can bring conservation issues and species at risk, such as peregrines, right into people's homes through their computers. For folks in an urban environment, it's easy to get disconnected from the outdoors. The nest cams drive home the point that these animals have fascinating life histories and experiences. Ironically, what they see on camera is sometimes what drives people to buy a pair of binoculars and head outdoors to see the birds in person."

  • Dr. Gordon Court, Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development:

"We can gain a lot of information from such technology. For example, we know peregrines can be active at night because a bird species called the sora, rarely seen by people during the day, ends up as falcon food. Falcons are probably catching that species, and other birds that migrate at night, using light from the city. But at the moment, we don't know what goes on at the nest at night."

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110624-624aca_800.jpg.

Contact Information