Audubon Starr Ranch Web Cams

03/30/15 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.”


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

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

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.
(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 (; 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:
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. For those of you who haven’t been on the 2-cam page, we had a new viewer join us this morning – Randi from Scarborough, ME. Randi satisfied a needed State as well as being #211 on the list. WELCOME RANDI! I had already posted all the info, so changes will show up later. Have a super day! Patti

  2. Hi Everyone! Well, with the new “characters available” format, it took three replies to get the list published this morning. I’ll send Pete/Gretchen an email and see if they have any other ideas for posting this list. Have a great day everyone! Patti

  3. Good Morning! Our Starr Ranch viewer/location list has now grown to 210 known fans from 39 states in 7 countries. We only need 5 more to reach our new goal of 215. If you would like to join, please hit the “reply” button in the upper righthand corner of this post and leave your SCREEN name/location and you will be added and show up on the list posted next weekend. This is purely for the fun of seeing where people reside, so no pressure! Also, it would be fun to see all the states represented. Below is our current list. Have a great weekend! Patti

      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 215th viewer to join our Starr Ranch viewer/location list which is 210 long as of this moment; don’t miss out on this exciting contest as you really do want one of the T-Shirts!!!

      As mentioned numerous times, we have viewers from 39 States within the U.S. Let’s see if we can get one viewer from each of the following States: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, 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!

    • 2peas4thispod – Huntington Beach, CA
      4pawsmom – Costa Mesa, CA
      4tybee – Savannah, GA
      Adelaide – Alta Loma, CA
      Aimslo – San Luis Obispo, CA
      AintThatAmerica (aka Jack, ID) – Hidden Springs, ID
      Ann – RI
      Ann Salerno – Cote De Caza, CA
      Ariadne (Eileen) – Los Angeles County, CA
      Auntie Em – Rockvale, TN
      AVS – Long Beach, CA
      Barbiej – Poway, CA
      Barbjune – Arlington, TX
      Barn6 – Lafayette, CA
      Basia7 (Barbara) – Katowice Province, Poland
      Beachgirl (aka Sandy) – Ridley Park, PA
      Becky – Yorba Linda, CA
      Beegies – Chicago, IL
      Bella – Laguna Hills, CA
      Beth1144 – Orange, CA
      Birdergirl – Mission, KS
      Birdygent1 – Laguna Woods, CA
      BJ – Huntington Beach, CA
      Bluee – Blue Bell, PA
      Bobriensan – Salem, MA
      Bonnie – San Luis Obispo, CA
      BonnieSue – Trabuco Canyon, CA
      Boxerdogmom – Fremont, OH
      Brae – Kalispell, MT
      BrianAndTammy – Kennesaw, GA
      Bulbwoman – Fullerton, CA
      Camillecg – Chesapeake, VA
      Carnation – Tacoma, WA
      Carollee – Mansfield, OH
      Carowl – Orangevale, CA
      Carrie – Aliso Viejo, CA
      Cathi8 – Santa Ana, CA
      Cbolts3 – Fairfax Station, VA
      Chacha – San Gabriel Valley, CA
      CheriLush – Irvine, CA
      Christine – Statesville, NC
      Cindi – Anaheim, CA
      Craniac – Westminster, CA
      CSW73 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
      DBW – Irvine, CA
      ddw962 – Schenectady, NY
      Deanna – Garden Grove, CA
      Debbiemango – Philadelphia, PA
      DebL – Calabasas, CA
      Debra, Carmel, CA
      Dianefouty – Cypress, CA
      Dogobedience – Bossier City, LA
      Dootles – Fontana, CA
      DramaMartini – Monterey, CA
      Elbydog (aka Sandy) – Omaha, NE
      Emma – AZ
      EmmieJan – Twin Cities, MN
      Enzo – Costa Mesa, CA
      Erica S – Los Angeles, CA
      Eugenia – Bucharest, Romania
      Fancypants (aka Nana or Barbara) – Lake Forest, CA
      Feather – NH
      Felicia – Cypress, CA (Orange County)
      Finn – WV
      Gammy (aka Pam) – Lake Forest, CA
      Gardenpoet – Winnetka, CA
      Gawoman – Kennesaw, GA
      Gaye – Costa Mesa, CA
      Gem – Ontario, Canada
      Genstarr – Los Angeles, CA
      Gloria – Roseville, CA
      Graycat – Costa Mesa, CA
      Harpster – Las Vegas, NV
      Helen – South Wales, UK
      Hibiscus – Dana Point, CA
      Hindi – Nevada City, CA
      Hootie – Gloucester, MA
      Hundon1 – Hundon, Suffolk, UK
      Irenee – Central CA (near Monterey)
      Jack – Portage, MI
      Janice – Camarillo, CA
      Jannie – TX
      JeanS – Laguna Hills, CA
      Jedson – Elgin, IL
      Jekeala – Brea, CA
      Jlazreal (aka Janice) – Albuquerque, NM
      Jlg – Valley Glen, CA
      Joan – Huntington Beach, CA
      Joan – Mission Viejo, CA
      JoAnne – Anaheim Hills, CA
      Johnna – Virginia Beach, VA
      Joy – Savannah, GA
      Joyce – Mission Viejo, CA
      Judynmo – MO
      Jules – Austintown, OH
      Julie C – Newport News, VA
      jyoder – N. IN

    • Karen – Orange County, CA
      KathyG – Yorba Linda, CA
      KathyGutierrez – Orange, CA
      Kazoozbud1 – Garden Grove, CA
      Kcarchitect – Lake Forest, CA
      KT (aka Kate) – Poland
      Leicafool – Haverford, PA
      Lisaalan – Garden Grove, CA
      Lisann – San Pedro, CA
      Litlvxn – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
      Little One – Camp Verde, AZ
      Lizzbh – Las Vegas, NV
      LNMay – Houston, TX
      Loonerunit2 – Virginia Beach, VA
      Lorita – Santa Clarita/Canyon Country, CA
      Lovewildlife (aka Sue) – Hillsboro, OR
      Luisa – Turin, Italy
      Lulu lennon – La Palma, CA
      Lusizzle – Orange, CA
      LuvbarnowlsCFL – Indialantic, FL
      Luvowls – Maryville, TN
      Lynn – Altadena, CA
      Macintosh – Duluth, MN
      Majic1 – San Clemente, CA
      Mango – Simi Valley, CA
      Margaretjeanne – Winters, CA
      Marie N – Cypress, CA
      Marissa – Mission Viejo, CA
      MaryEAG – Madison, NJ
      MaryLiza/Carol – Orange, CA
      Marypat – Adamstown, MD
      Mavisinanaheim – Anaheim, CA
      Maxi23 (aka Maxine) – Milwaukee, WI
      MB – Trabuco Canyon, CA
      Meg – Garden Grove, CA
      Mewzical – Colorado Springs, CO
      Mimi (aka Spohia & Maria) – Corona, CA
      Modjeskagal – Modjeska Canyon, CA
      MommyP – Studio City, CA
      Monica-CA – Fountain Valley, CA
      Moonseer (aka Beverly) – Norfolk, VA
      Mothernature – Flagstaff, AZ
      Mrsanderson306 – Hemet, CA
      Mtnman – Tustin, CA
      Nanger (aka Nancy) – Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
      Nita – N. Tustin, CA
      Nofearsgal – La Habra, CA
      Nonni5 – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
      Nuthatch – Southern Ontario, Canada
      Oldbird (aka Karla) – Missoula, MT
      Onthefly – San Francisco, CA
      Orion11349 – Yorba Linda, CA
      Pagar05 – Baltimore, MD
      Pamelab – Lubbock, TX
      Pantha – Huntington Beach, CA
      Patti T – Hilton Head Island, SC
      PaulaP – Madison, WI
      Piesupper – Kings Beach, CA
      PinguC – Livonia, MI
      Piute – Glide, OR
      PLowrie (aka Patti) – Novato, CA
      Questca – Valley Village, CA
      RedFox – Connecticut
      ReginaHoo – Glendale, CA
      Retiredmp – Granada Hills, CA
      Rex – Eugene, OR
      Rivercityliver – London, UK
      rock5ash12 (aka Sabrina) – San Fernando Valley, CA
      Ruth Wolf – Oceanside, CA
      Sally Smiley – Cheyenne, WY
      Sand22.Star – Georgia
      Sandy – Garden Grove, CA
      Savannah – Los Angeles, CA
      Scylla – London, UK
      Seal – Seal Beach, CA
      Seattle – Seattle, WA
      Selund – Ellicott City, MD
      Sharon – Southold, Long Island, NY
      Sheila – Mission Viejo, CA
      Silkemonet – Henderson, NV
      Siskin – Altadena, CA
      Skyskimmer – San Diego, CA
      Skywalker – No. Tustin, CA
      Smitty – Great Falls, MT
      Snowl – CT
      Sova (aka Martin & Zuzana – The Czech Republic
      SpencerBrown – Woodland Hills, CA
      STEVE – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
      SueK – SW UT
      Sueriov – Rio Vista, CA

    • Sunshine97 – Oceanside, CA
      Suzihugatree – San Clemente, CA
      Svh77 – Springfield, MO
      Sway – Irvine, CA
      Swayze – Sheffield, UK
      Sweetles – Costa Mesa, CA
      Tabea – Prudhoe Bay, AK
      Tecolote – Ventura, CA
      Terisimmons – Orange, CA
      Terradog – Freeland, Whidbey Island, WA
      Tina V – Lake Forest, CA
      Trish – Anaheim, CA
      Ulla – Long Beach, CA
      Vellema – Trabuco Canyon, CA
      Westie – New York, NY
      Wildflower – Yorba Linda, CA
      Wolfeeee – Fountain Valley, CA
      Wynne – San Gabriel, CA
      Xbecs55 (Suzy Davis) – Las Vegas, NV
      Yellowthroat – Mission Viejo, CA
      Yenifer – Modjeska Canyon, CA
      YvonneNieves – Vicksburg, MS
      Zzyzx – Fullerton, CA

  4. “new day”

    all seems serene on the Starr Ranch front
    as night slowly fades into a bright new day
    the owls and kestrels are out of sight
    it is oh “soooo quiet,” as feather did say

    the cavity seems to say welcome you all
    but no critter has decided to ‘move in’
    there isn’t even a mouse moving about
    nor spider, nor moth, nor any other ‘friend’

    the watering hole has no visitors right now
    it’s as if the wild ones are still fast asleep
    or on the hunt for needed prey
    that they hope their efforts will reap

    the trail has no life that all can see
    altho’ the rock stands steadfastly in place
    and at this time no coyote or fox
    has left any signs, not even a trace

    the brand new sturdy branch offices
    seem to wait quietly tonight
    offering a place to land for any
    barn owl, kestrel or bird in flight

    but alas it remains ‘soooo quiet’ tis true
    and daylight is only a short time away
    come on little Starr Ranch wild critters
    we wish to welcome you to a bright new day

  5. Weather update: over the next seven days, Sat. – partly cloudy;
    Sun – 20% chance of rain; Mon. – partly cloudy; Tues. – RAIN 60%;
    Wed. – Chance of showers 40% ; Thurs. – Chance of Showers 20%; Fri. – Partly cloudy.
    This forecast will alter, surely, but hopefully So Cal will get one or more days with precipitation. The prey species are hoping for rain, too, but then no hawks or owls. We can’t all get what we wish for.

  6. For anyone who’s always wanted to visit Starr Ranch, and has a strong back, here is a long link that asks for permission to download a pdf about the “Weed-Warrior” volunteers (invasive weed control/removal) at the Ranch, with volunteer duties and dates thru Summer of 2015.

  7. From Starr Ranch’s Facebook page, their 2014-15 Seasonal Ornithologist, Holly Garrod posts a nice “Bird of the Week” feature. “This weeks bird of the week is….” [our friends], “. . . the
    Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana). No wonder they’re the bringer of happiness, these blue gems always brighten my day. They’re easily distinguished by their blue color and reddish breast. The females tend to have a more brown wash and will always have an eye ring where the males will not. These birds hang out year round on Starr Ranch and in the summer will nest in cavities or bird houses. I’ve seen them around the ranch perched pretty high up in the Eucalyptus trees making their ‘kew’ calls. In the photo you see an older female bluebird (photo taken by me during last weeks MoSI banding effort).”
    This seems to be a periodic bird banding which goes on at Starr, a winter survival monitoring study. This picture was taken by Holly, and has a partial hand to help you gage the size of the Bluebird. 0da9eff3-149e-49ca-bb7d-475afb8487ef_zpsac5045d7.jpgundefined

  8. Yesterday, Tecolote gave the link to Cornell’s Thanksgiving card. The Prothonotary Warbler
    won the competition out of 25 warblers, voted on by viewers. It will be the warbler in a mural being painted by Jane Kim at the Cornell visitor center (which will have more than 250 life-size bird portraits on completion).
    The top 10 warbler vote getters (before the Prothonotary Warbler was named the final winner) are still up on their site, giving you a good opportunity to see nice, up-close photos of these sometimes confusing warblers:

    This Prothonotary Warbler was photographed by Laura Erickson.

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