Welcome to the sixth season of Raptor Cam!
Raptor Cam is a joint effort KGW NewsChannel 8 and the Audubon Society of Portland. Since 2007 we have been able to provide viewers with a direct look into the nesting cycle 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 and also posting on the Raptor Cam Facebook Page 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. 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.
What to expect:
Over the past five years the Raptor Cam Red-tails have hatched eleven 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 interfere." 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.
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!
The following is an approximate chronology of what to expect over the next several months. However the hawks don't read these posts and actual nesting chronologies can vary significantly.
Courtship and Nest Building--January through early March
Egg Laying--March (Eggs are typically laid 24-48 hours apart and there can by up to four eggs
Incubation--Eggs are incubated from 28-32 days
Nestlings--April, May (The young remain in the nest for about 44-46-days)
Fledging---Late May or early June (The young take their first flights when they are about 44-4
6 days old)
Post Fledging--June-August (The young remain in the vicinity of the nest for several weeks perfecting their hunting and flying skills)
Past Nesting Chronologies:
Egg Laying (Date of First Egg):
2007 March 16
2008 March 8
2009 March 6
2010 March 3
2011 March 11
Hatching (Date of First Hatch):
2008 April 16
2009 April 14
2010 April 14
2011 April 21
Fledging (Date of First Flight):
2008 May 31
2009 June 1
2010 May 31
2011 June 12
I look forward to sharing the season with you all. Please do send me your questions and comments!
Raptor Cam 2011