Audubon Starr Ranch Web Cams

04/20/15 Thank you all who pledged or made a flat donation to the Starr Ranch Birdathon! After resting on Sunday (24hr birding is fun, but exhausting…) we’re checking our list for double entries or birds we got but didn’t write down. Preliminary total is 152 and the 100th bird was a Killdeer, which no one guessed. So, closest guess to the 100th bird is the Western Bluebird (congratulations, Kay!).
Since I’m about to leave for Michigan for a week to inspect and repair Osprey platforms on Fletcher Pond in Hillman – a project I’ve been doing for at least 25 years – I won’t be able to get back to all with the day’s write up, pledge amount due, t-shirt winners, and those who will get t-shirts for donating/pledging $100 or $1+/species until the beginning of May. In the meantime, thanks so much!!! Pete Addendum: Final tally: 152 species. Congratulations Barbara, who had closest guess of 150!

04/16/15 The Starr Ranch Birdathon starts today at 6:00 PM! If you can help out with a pledge of any amount per bird species we see/hear in 24 hours it would REALLY be appreciated. Details are here: Starr Ranch Birdathon
Also, from last Saturday’s Owl Banding here are some faces to go with some familiar screen names:
L to R: JoAnne, Pete, Lynn, Wynne, BJ, enzo, greycat, 4pawsmom, Meg. Thanks, Pete

04/01/15 The Starr Ranch Birdathon is just around the corner! Please take a moment to check it out and make a pledge if you can. This is an important fundraiser for us and your help is really needed and appreciated. Thanks, Pete
This just added: There are Great Horned Owls and Barn Owls nesting near our access road (but too far away for cams) who both have chicks that I will be banding on Saturday, April 11. If you would like to join me for both bandings, details can be found HERE. This will be a fund raiser – much like banding events we’ve done here in the past – which help us to keep Starr Ranch operating. Lunch will also be provided. I hope you can attend. Thanks, Pete

04/01/15 I set the PTZ cam to hopefully auto switch to the south end of the limb where Trish reported she thought she saw a lot of bats flying by regularly at that time. If I got it right the cam will be there from 8-8:30PM, then switch back to the full limb, and then in the morning switch back to the Kestrel Box. We shall see. Please post what you see – cam position as well as any activity.. This really helps me a lot. Thanks, Pete. (And please check out my Birdathon link above.  I really need your help with that part too.)

03/31/15 10:30AM Kestrel lays Egg #4
Correction to paragraph below.  I got my dates messed up and it appears she’s is maintaining the 48hr apart laying sequence.  Going forward it would be really interesting to note her incubation patterns starting with the first egg. My sense is she is increasing time spent on them with each additional egg but has yet to assume the typical incubation of pretty much constantly.  I also just capture a week of video at a time so I may spend a little more $ and have dropcam buffer a month so it can be downloaded and reviewed later.  Also, I changed the date on the Egg#3 note below from 3/30 to 3/29.  Thanks for the correction, Meg!  Pete

But given her 48hr period between laying I didn’t expect this and don’t know when it happened.  So if anyone knows about about when #4 arrived, please let me know and I’ll look for the video clip and post it. Thanks, Pete

03/29/15 10:30AM Kestrel lays Egg #3
Hard to tell exactly when but some time between 9:10 and 10:20 this morning there were two eggs and then there were three. Here is a 90sec time lapse. A few times one can catch a glimpse of an egg or two but it’s not until she leaves that we see three. Also interesting is her timing.  So far it’s pretty close to 48 hours apart.  And we should see at least one to maybe three more eggs. Pete.

03/25/15 Solar incubation? Really, if you haven’t yet, see my note two paragraphs below about Kestrel incubation. I find this really interesting and is making me think more of the why it’s like this. Meaning why is it that, say, a Mallard lays a dozen eggs, starts incubating when the clutch is complete, the chicks hatch all at once and are very shortly ready to go (“precocious” young) while raptor chicks hatch over the course of several days based on when incubation started and eggs were laid and then chicks need care and feeding to fledging (“altricial” young). I understand the circumstances that likely allow for precocious v altricial young, but egg laying and incubation timing makes me think more about the “why”. Pete

03/25/15 9:25AM Kestrel lays first egg!
Hard to tell exactly when but clearly there was not an egg before 9:00. Here is a 60sec time lapse between 8:45 and 9:30. At around 40secs she briefly stops her preening and my sense is this is when she laid the egg. At 50secs we get the first glimpse. Also, here are some short realtime clips of when I first caught a glimpse of the egg and then the first view of the entire egg.

Also, perhaps of interest: Common knowledge is that raptors in general begin incubating shortly after the first egg is laid. But I’m not sure what Kestrels do specifically. So I asked my good friend Art Gingert who has decades of experience with Kestrels and Kestrel boxes. In fact I was an intern of Art’s back in the late 70’s when he was managing Audubon’s Miles Wildlife Sanctuary in CT and when we put up some of his first boxes. I still recall checking a box back in those days with him and saying “Yup, there’s an egg in the box.” But at the time neither of us knew what a Kestrel egg looked like… As it turned out, it was… Anyway, here’s what Art had to say about Kestrel incubation:
“From what I have read, and heard, kestrels may wait until the 2nd — maybe 3rd — egg before incubating, which is seemingly why at least two of the nestlings in a brood of 4 or 5 are quite close in size, and there are always one or two which are smaller, with the asynchronous hatching. And the male, as you recall, also helps incubate at times, often at night. Will be interesting to see whether that will occur there at Starr Ranch.”

Pete

03/21/15 10:20AM The PTZ will be off for a bit while I adjust some settings.
OK, I was able to set the PTZ to automatically switch to the limb at 7:00PM and the K-box at 6:30AM. If anyone thinks I should tweak these times, feel free to send me an email. I can also set up 6 other preset view during any window of time so if there’s something else anyone thinks might be good to watch at a particular time just let me know.  Thanks, Pete

03/19/15 Last night a Grey Fox came out of the darkness from the same place as the previous night’s Coyote and a day or so before that, a Cougar (See links below). It’s a parade!  Pete

03/18/15 Around 6:30 this morning a coyote walked by the trail cam along pretty much the same route the cougar did the night before last. Watch the upper left corner at the start of both videos. Playing back to back also provides a nice perspective on the size difference between these two mammals. Coyote and Cougar.      Pete

03/17/15 Last night around 9:15PM this guy gave us a nice look on the trail cam. I suspect it’s the same one from 02/18/15. Watch the upper left corner of the video when it starts… Video Pete

03/04/15 I bet most of you will recognize these two from their past visit to the watering hole. This buck STILL has the same antlers he’s had for going on five years now.  Very odd.  But he appears healthy. Pete

03/02/15 Someone else checks out the Kestrel box. Hopefully decided it was too big. (There are lots of natural cavities and other bird boxes at Starr Ranch for these guys to use.) Pete

02/27/15 Bobcat on the trail cam around 2:15PM today. Nice light, too! Pete

02/18/15 After months of not seeing any on the trail cam, Surprise!
Trail cam at 1AM on 02/17/15. Pete

02/15/15 Jorge is doing some updates, backups, etc. on the server today so there may be times where the cavity, PTZ, and RSHA nest cams are down. Pete

02/08/15 Due to some water now in Bell Creek, activity at the water hole has tapered off considerably because so many other sources are available. I also recently noticed some territorial behavior by the RSHAs by our office. So I’ve switched the watering hole cam to last year’s RSHA nest. While RSHAs don’t typically lay eggs here until around the middle of March, if they’re going to use this nest we could see some new sticks and greenery brought in soon. Please let me know if you see new activity.  Pete

02/02/15
Female Kestrel checks out the box!
Will they eventually use it?
Another trail cam visitor on 1/31/15.
Bobcat

01/28/15 And also a Mule Deer Doe a little while ago. Pete
Mule Deer Doe
01/28/15 Two recent visitors on the trail cam.
Possum
(A little quiz: What’s unique about an opossum’s skull?)
Spike Buck Mule Deer
The buck is the one seen at the watering hole and is also the one who hasn’t dropped his antlers in at least four years. Pete

01/21/15 If you want to see some excellent video of a BNOW in action and in some amazing slow motion, check this out:
BNOW hunting in hi-res slow motion (from BBC).     Pete

12/28/14 IMPORTANT END OF 2014 INFO: This is now THE site for Starr Ranch webcams, including the BNOWs. The “BNOW only” cam site (starrranch.org/blog/barn-owl; 2 cams) is currently telling you to come here and will soon redirect you here automatically if you have it bookmarked. The comments from that site will soon be archived and available here, but going forward and to keep things as organized and as clear as possible – especially regarding comments – this is going to be THE page you want to go to to view and comment. As always, feel free to email me if you are having any problems watching or commenting.

On another note, thank you to all who have made this site so much of what I was hoping it would become. It has evolved into a camaraderie of sharing, caring, education and learning that I truly wasn’t expecting. Really, thanks so much. Among other things you have made this easy for me. The nuts and bolts of putting up and maintaining the cams, servers, etc. is actually fun for me and I love doing it. But that I have not had to “police” the site is simply awesome. You guys look after each other and zealously protect what we all have here. Wow.

Also, a sincere thank you to everyone who has helped keep it all going. I think it’s obvious that it takes $ to keep the wheels on it all (buying/installing cams, paying a third party for the bandwidth so many can watch, and just all the other things needed that unfortunately aren’t free). Without you folks, I can’t make this happen. So again, thanks. Onward to 2015.  Pete

11/26/14 Gretchen and I (mostly Gretchen…) are working on some tweaks to the site that will allow some other cams to be watched – like the Kestrel box – We’re also exploring giving you the choice of what cams you want to view because I suspect as I try to add more on the same page not all of you might have enough bandwidth to stream them all simultaneously. Gretchen is also going to make the page wider since most laptops and desktop screens these days can accommodate more than the current view width. Last, comment length is now limited to 2500 characters (about 30 lines), and may get shorter after trying out, so that no single comment monopolizes an entire page. I think most of what can be said in a comment should easily fit within this limit. Pete

11/12/14 Kestrel box is up. Until I have time to work with Gretchen to put this on a page, you can check it out here: http://dropc.am/p/starr-ranch-kestrels
This cam records continuously in a 7 day buffer meaning on the 8th day, the 1st day gets overwritten. But I have motion sensing set up at the cavity entrance so if something sticks its head in I’ll get an email and can take a look. I’ll be out of town from tomorrow until the following Thursday but will still be able to monitor any activity. Also, I might point the PTZ at the box during the day so you can see the setting and also if something checks it out. Pete

11/12/14 10AM PST Cavity and PTZ cams will be off for a bit while I put up the Kestrel box and make some adjustments. Hopefully for just a few hours. Also, if you heard some chainsaw activity this morning it’s just ground cleanup of the limbs I pruned last weekend. Pete

11/09/14 Cams will be off and on for a bit today while a finally get to make some adjustments, clean lenses, etc. Am also going to see what it looks like when I move the PTZ in and a bit higher if possible to get a better angle. I’m also going to place the Kestrel box nearby so that the PTZ can be used to view the entrance hole (there will also be a cam inside the box). Pete

11/08/14 Euc pruning done but took longer than expected, but is done. Cams back up now but will be down for a bit tomorrow when I make some adjustments to them. When I turned cams back on I saw female Kestrel was roosting in the cavity. All is well… Pete

11/08/14 Sometime today the BNOW cavity and PTZ cams will be offline for a while. I need to make some adjustments and further support the boom that holds the PTZ cam. I also hope to put up a Kestrel box w/ cam that the female Kestrel might check out and use. I’ll also be pruning some of the adjacent eucs so there would be a few hours of a lot of chainsaw noise… Cams will be back up by end of day. Pete

09/19/14 I talked to Gretchen this afternoon (who, if you don’t know by now, is awesome and is playing a major role keeping the wheels on this site) about providing an encrypted email address for you folks to use to let me know you accurately guessed launch and return times to win a Starr Ranch t-shirt. She told me how to do this and I will be providing it tomorrow. Because if I just simply post the email address (and none of you should ever put an email address in a comment) for tshirt winners to use then spammers are all over it immediately and I start getting 50-100 emails a day from them. Sad, but true, and too bad there are some bad people out there who spend time doing this – and think it’s OK to do so.  Shame on them.  Pete

09/05/14 A little different watering hole view for a while. Hopefully will give better views of the deer and squirrels. In any case, should give you some context of the setting. Pete

08/30/14 While we are in between nesting seasons and the BNOW cavity has been empty or at least just had an occasional visitor I figured I’d get all our cams up for you to watch. All should play fine, but if you don’t have a high speed internet connection you may find watching all simultaneously will not work well. If so, just click on any screen – that’s lowest on your list to view – to stop the feed. Clicking it again should restart it. BTW, comments here will be unique to this page and not appear on the BNOW cam page to keep things from getting confused. Pete

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  1. Good Morning!
    FRIDAY’S REMINDER:
    If you would like to be added to our fantastic list of screen names/locations, please hit the reply button in the upper right hand corner of this post. We would love to have you join and see how many people are watching and where they live (city/state/country only), but there is no pressure whatsoever. Everyone should enjoy this site in their own way. The list has grown to 232 names/locations in 43 states and 8 countries. I’ve tried to catch all names since the last list was published on Saturday. If I missed anyone, my apologies and just reply here. Please join this wonderful group of owl/wildlife lovers. Thanks and have a great day! Patti
    NOTE: The list is by your SCREEN name/location

    THINK WE CAN GET 235???????
    Pete has authorized us to continue the contest and once again the prize is a coveted Starr Ranch T-Shirt. The rules: a T-shirt to the 235th viewer to join our Starr Ranch viewer/location list which is 232 long as of this moment; don’t miss out on this exciting contest as you really do want one of the T-Shirts!!!

    CONTEST FOR STATES – VIEWER LIST !!!!!
    As mentioned numerous times, we have viewers from 43 States within the U.S. Let’s see if we can get one viewer from each of the following States: Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Vermont. Pete has generously offered a coveted Starr Ranch T-Shirt to the first person to sign in from each State. Let the contest begin!

    • Northern California decided to skip winter this year–we’ve hardly had any snow at all and not even rain (had a surprise rain last night and got 2/10th of an inch–barely enough to wet the top 2 inches of the soil). In fact, it’s been spring since January and we’ve even had a number of high-70 degree days. This is the 4th year of a drought in California and we’re being put on water restrictions–there isn’t much snow in the Sierra to melt and provide water over the summer. California’s farmers, who produce the lion’s share of many crops that get sent around the country, will also be restricted, so everyone should expect higher prices at the market since many fields will lay fallow this summer.

  2. Happy Arbor Day Everyone☺We are getting near the hatch date!
    ☼Would anyone else like to play this game?☼
    NEW CONTEST☼ Start Here► First Kestrel Chick; to Fully Hatch out of shell. ◄
    Please guess date / time.Anyone can play. ☺ Anyone can place an exact time. Still your guesses will be in quartered, into 6 hour time spans. I will post exact times. Plus the quarter time; that the guess is within.
    How to play/ rules….
    This contest will have open time spots, quartered.( 4 guesses per date. ) Quartered hours►
    Quarters; are in 6 hour increments.
    1st quarter 12 AM (Midnight) -6 AM
    2nd quarter 6AM-12 Noon.
    3rd quarter 12PM (Noon) – 6PM
    4th quarter 6PM-12 Midnight.
    Also: You may select 1 more guess, if your “date” has passed.
    (If the “New” date & quarter is open, & has not been guessed by another player.)
    ►Also just for MBR (Mega Bragging Rights) Pick a time-I’ll add it to your guess◄
    ————————————————————————————————————
    *Please consider sending a donation to Starr Ranch.*
    This Kestrel Box has earned it. Thank you Pete for creating this wonderful box.
    ______________________________________________
    Entries so far►(Just reply to play)►
    4-20-15 at 11:00 (2nd Quarter) Jo Anne)
    4-24-15 ( forth quarter. )-lnmay
    4-25-15 @ 1700 (3rd quarter) – JoAnne -(2ND Guess*)
    4-26-15 (1st quarter) – graycat98
    4-26-15 at 14:07( 3rd quarter ) -Rex
    4-27-15 (1st quarter) Hindi
    4-27-15 at 0700 (2nd quarter)-Tecolote
    4-27-15( Third quarter)- Trish
    4-27-15( fourth quarter).-Plowrie (Aloha Patti)
    4-28-15 (1st quarter) – Cathi8
    4-28-15 (2nd Quarter)-enzo
    4-28-15 (3rd Quarter) – Meg
    4-28-15 at 1900 ( 4th quarter) -AintThatAmerica-Jack
    4-29-15 at 0900. (2nd quarter)-Lynn
    4-29-15 at 1330 (3rd Quarter) – Wynne
    4-30-15 at 1000 (2nd Quarter) – BJ
    4-30-15 at 1422 (3rd Q) -Monica-CA

    • Good Morning Tecolote! You’re doing a fantastic job keeping track of everyone. It’ll be interesting to see when Mrs. K’s first chick arrives. And thanks ahead of time for trying to get us a new joiner to the list. I’ll bet you suceed. Have a fun birding weekend! Patti

  3. Good Morning All !! Life on the cams looks pretty much status quo (Ritz empty except for Spideys, branch office just being the branch office, Mrs.K sleeping over her precious eggs). Welcome back from Hawaii Patti !!! And thank you, emma, for sharing your sightings of all the little ones !!! Hope everyone has a wonderful day today !! :)

      • Good Morning Happy Arbor Day. The S R EUC in PTZ cam, has lovely colors, after a rain. Everything is so very fresh! This AM. Should be a great sunset in So CA tonight. Always is ,after a rain. Lady K is awake & doing her wiggle/shimmy moves, upon her eggs. Maybe this is for some extra warmth, that only a parent can give? ♥

      • Aloha Patti- Welcome back from paradise.☼ I’ll try to get some new viewers this week end. Big Birding adventure in V C area. For many. Bird Paparazzi -will be out counting birds. Until Sunday. If I see any? Along the way? I’ll promote SR site, & our lovely list of members. The K Box will be bursting with new life. Very soon.♥

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