Latest from The Spokesman-Review
WILDLIFE WATCHING — At least three of the four peregrine falcon chicks have hatched after nesting in a downtown Boise building.
The two parent birds on the 14th floor of the One Capital Center are taking turns keeping the chicks warm.
The Peregrine Fund, which helped sponsor the web camera, says that it should take five to six weeks for them to be able to fly.
Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game added that nesting on the tall building simulates the steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild.
Falcons prey on other birds, like pigeons, mourning doves and starlings in the Boise area. They can dive at speeds up to 200 mph.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Wild peregrine falcons in the process of raising a family are being monitored by a web cam in the nest box above downtown Boise.
This is the seventh year the webcam has provided a bird’s eye view of the daily activities of the nest on the 14th floor of One Capital Center, 10th and Main.
This year, the camera was started on April 6 with four eggs already in the nest. Both parents have been observed incubating and taking care of eggs.
Here's more peregrine info from Idaho Fish and Game:
Since 2003, breeding peregrine falcons have used the nest on the building that simulates the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. When in a dive, peregrine falcons are the fastest members of the animal kingdom, reaching speeds as high as 200 miles per hour. They use that speed to prey on other birds. Downtown Boise provides a plentiful supply of pigeons, mourning doves, starlings and other species.
Once an endangered species, the peregrine falcon was restored through the release of captive-bred young by The Peregrine Fund. It was removed from the endangered species list in 1999, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states continue to monitor peregrine population numbers.
In 2009, Idaho removed the falcon from its list of state threatened species. Like all birds of prey, the falcons remain protected by state and federal law.
Peregrines were essentially gone from Idaho by 1974. Starting in 1982, captive-bred falcons were released into the wild in Idaho and nearby states. In 1985, the raptors were again documented as a breeding species, and releases were discontinued. Eight falcons were released in downtown Boise in 1988 and 1989. Today, there are about two dozen breeding pairs scattered around the state.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — An award-winning raptor expert, artist and photographer will focus on birds of prey in a free fully feathered program TONIGHT, April 8, in Spokane.
Kate Davis of Raptors of the Rockies will use her stunning images along with her Teaching Team — a falcon, hawk and two owls — for an educational evening that will conclude with a primer on Communication In the Dark and "hooting up an owl."
Davis has been providing educational programs to schools and the public with live birds of prey for 27 years. She keeps 18 non-releasable and falconry birds at the facility at her house on the banks of the Bitterroot River in Western Montana.
These birds are the subjects and source of inspiration for her photography, drawings, paintings, etchings, welded steel sculptures, and writing, with five books published to date. Raptors of the West Captured in Photographs won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2011. Her latest book, American Kestrel: Pint-Sized Predator just hit the stands with 100 photographs, six chapters and plans for building kestrel nest boxes.
The program, sponsored by the Spokane Audubon Society, starts at 7:30 p.m. at Riverview Retirement Community, 2117 E. N. Crescent Ave. Social gathering starts at 7 p.m.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Peregrine falcons have long been considered the fastest bird on the planet. But now we're getting firm numbers.
Using high-tech sensors, scientists are ending the conjecture on how fast these sleek falcons can stoop on their hapless prey.
What's your guess?
Watch this remarkable video to the very end. You'll be surprised!
BIRDWATCHING — While the new commander at Fairchild Air Force Base is looking into options for bringing back the big Air Show, area birdwatchers are finding their own aerial displays of high-speed flying.
You simply have to know where to look.
Check out this Tuesday report from local birder Jon Isacoff:
Quick run to Sprague sewage lagoons today. A pleasant surprise was a PEREGRINE FALCON that bombed shorebirds and waterfowl several times, losing a chase with with a Wilson's Phalarope. Shorebird species present:
FALCONRY – Montana’s first nonresident falconry collection season has opened through March 31 when falconers can collect chicks from the nest. But the number of participants is strictly limited.
Montana approved the nonresident capture provision because some Montana falconers wanted reciprocity with other states.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks allows only one nonresident permit to collect a young falcon. Up to an additional five in-state licensed falconers are allowed to capture chicks.
Jay Sumner of the Montana Peregrine Institute says most falconers add to their flock by going to breeders of captive birds that have more popular varieties than the native Montana peregrines.
The state has about 90 licensed falconers, but only 40 actively fly birds.
WILDLIFE — "Falconry and game hunting, a conservation alliance," is the title of a program to be presented by Spokane falconer Doug Pineo on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The program is sponsored by the Spokane Audubon’s Society which meets at Riverview Retirement Community, Village Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. near Upriver Drive.
Pineo's involvement in falconry dates back decades, and he was involved with the movement that brought the peregrine falcon back from the brink of extinction. He recently retired a shoreline specialist with the Washington Department of Ecology.