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March 17, 2012: Update on Raptor Cam Red-tails

by Bob Sallinger


Posted on March 17, 2012 at 4:48 AM

Updated Saturday, Mar 17 at 4:48 AM

Dear Raptor Cam Viewers,

It appears that our raptor cam red-tails have flown the coop. Although they did spend some time at the nest during March, activity over the past few weeks has gone to zero. I spent an hour down at the site today and did not see any sign of the birds.

It appears that they may have shifted their nest site about 0.3 miles South to the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse Building. At about the same time that the Raptor-Cam birds disappeared, a new pair began building a nest on the Hatfield Building.  About two weeks ago we got reports of a fierce territorial battle between a pair of red-tails and a peregrine falcon at this site. Subsequent to that report the red-tails began constructing a series of nests on various ledges facing 3rd avenue.

I went down and watched the pair last week and while I could not be certain, my suspicion is that it is our raptor-cam pair. The site actually is a significant improvement over the fire escape. It overlooks Chapman and Lownsdale Squares (site of the recent Occupy Portland encampment. I watched the hawks doing spectacular courtship displays over the square, breaking branches off of the trees and even copulating on the ecoroof atop the Portland Building just across the way. If you get a chance, take a trip down to the parks and check out the action overhead!

Many people in nearby buildings have been watching the hawks through their windows. Many people have reported concerns about the hawks being disturbed by window washing activity on the courthouse. We appreciate the reports and have been in direct contact with the courthouse as has the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We are working to make sure that the hawks are well received and managed at this site.

We are working on opportunities to reinstall the raptor cam to view this site. However the logistics of the Federal Building make it very complicated. We are also exploring other options as well.

Many folks have asked if we have turned off the raptor-cam for the season. Actually the reason it is not functioning right now is a technical problem that we are working to resolve. Our intention is to leave the camera on for the time being in the event that the hawks do return to the fire escape.

We will continue to keep you updated. Hopefully we will have something cool for you all to watch very soon.