Thanks to Frank and crew for getting the camera back on line this morning. Frank explains that the images were coming into the station clear but "there was an unidentified video signal processing problem as it was converted to be sent out through the live streaming encoder, hence blurry on the webstream." I can explain the birds behavior but I won't pretend that I have a clue about the wizardry that brings the birds from the fire escape to your computer screens...so I will just once again express my appreciation to Frank and the folks at KGW who keep this thing running. They put a heck of a lot into it every season!
WATCH LIVE: KGW-Audubon Raptor Cam
Three of the eggs have now hatched and the fourth appears to be on its way. Some folks have expressed concern about the parents ability to care for four chicks as well as competition between the chicks. A few folks have wondered whether we might intervene if one of the chicks appears to be doing badly. As in previous years, we are going to leave it to the parents to raise their own young.
The adults are experienced parents and there is more than enough food available to feed the youngsters. The parents seem to have no problem finding plenty of rats, mice and pigeons in the area. I am curious--does anybody recall ever seeing any other type of prey going into the nest in this or previous years? My recollection is that it has been pretty much all rats, mice and pigeons.
Raptor Cam provides a view into their world but we can't necessarily guarantee happy endings. Not every egg necessarily hatches and not every chick will necessarily survive. The competition in the nest is part of natural cycle and if you watch any nest closely you will likely see the same sorts of dramas playing out.
There will be some significant size differences in the chicks that you will see develop over the next couple of weeks. The females will be up to a third larger than the males and the 3rd and hopefully 4th chicks will be lagging several days behind their siblings. Still with a healthy prey base, it is very well possible that all four will eventually fledge from the nest. As one viewer noted, when they get too rambunctious, mom just sits on them---it's is actually pretty funny to watch.