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February 13, 2011--Welcome to Raptor Cam 2011

by Bob Sallinger


Posted on February 13, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:55 AM

Hatching 2007: Photo by Dieter Waiblinger

Welcome to the fifth season of Raptor Cam! Raptor Cam is a joint effort KGW-Channel 8 and and the Audubon Society of Portland. Since 2007 we have been able to provide viewers with a direct look into the nest of a pair of red-tailed hawks that nest on a downtown Portland fire escape.

My name is Bob Sallinger and I am the Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland. I will be blogging about the red-tails and their activities throughout the season. I will also provide information on cool bird related activities and events that are occurring in and around Portland. Please send me your questions and comments at this site. In past years we have received a lot of great questions and commentary from viewers and your direct participation makes it all the more interesting.

Over the past four years the Raptor Cam Red-tails have hatched eight young. We have had the opportunity to watch as the parents carefully built their nest. We have seen the eggs being laid and watched as they hatched. We have watched as the young seemed to literally grow before our eyes and observed the drama of their first wobbly flights. We have also seen young succumb to disease and suffer collisions with cars. It is all part of life in the city for these birds.

In past years some people have wondered if we will intervene if their are problems in the nest--for example a nestling becomes sick or the eggs fail to hatch The answer is "no, we will not inter fer." Raptor Cam is an unfiltered view of life in the nest--we promise that it will be fascinating, but we will not interfere with the birds to create specific outcomes. Although we have a direct view into the nest, we will respect the bird's unique abilities to raise and care for their own young we will let nature take its course.

Each year we have been able to make improvements in the Raptor Cam technology. This year, during the off season we were able to add a microphone. It may take another couple of weeks to work out the kinks but you should be able to see and hear what is going on in the nest this season!

Over the next couple of weeks, activity at the nest will be intermittent. In past years, the red-tails have not laid their eggs until early March. Between now and then they will be adding to the existing nest, periodically bringing in materials to prepare the structure for the eggs. Although they have fidelity to previous nest locations, it is altogether possible that they will choose a different site as well in which case this could be very short Raptor Cam season...Keep your fingers crossed!

I look forward to sharing the season with you all. Please do send me your questions and comments!