Audubon Starr Ranch Web Cams

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. I signed in about 5 years ago but don”t post. I’ve seen I believe 3 broods(15 fledgling) and more then a couple (fledge)fly for the 1st time (live). Also have a cute cool pic of the Kestrel lying on it’s back I think it”s first night at the ritz & Pics of 2 different broods (5 ea) facing out…would love to share these pics but can’t figure it out .
    I’m here in San Juan Capistrano (maybe 15 mi.) away & would love to post these pics but more to visit the ranch someday ….Chuck …

    • Glad to see you posting, Chuck :-) l saw your attempt to post a pic and at that time I went to find my instructions a few pages back, then got waylaid…

      I may be too tired to make sense now :-(

      You need to upload your pics to a “host” like Photobucket.com or Imgur.com, then copy the “direct link” from that site, come back here and write your comment and click on the “Click here” link at the bottom of the comment box, and paste your link into the resulting box, then click OK and your link will appear in the posting box sandwiched between  and .

      (If you take your time you should be able to see where you’re going as you go along.)

      Then click the green Post Comment link and sit back and admire your work ;-)

      I’m turning in now but I look forward to seeing loads of pics from you when I get back :-)

      Others will correct me if I’ve mis-led you, heaven forbid.

  2. I had noticed a posting from a ( chuckyss ) and did not see it on our list. Was hoping it was a new person commenting and hoping they might want to join Patti’s List. Do you CHUCKYSS??? We can use another new signup, just asking……

  3. MONDAY’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 211 names/locations in 40 states and 7 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.

    • NEW GOAL – 215 – CONTEST EXTENDED ONCE AGAIN !!!!!
      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 211 long as of this moment; don’t miss out on this exciting contest as you really do want one of the T-Shirts!!!

      NEW CONTEST FOR STATES – VIEWER LIST !!!!!
      As mentioned numerous times, we have viewers from 40 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, 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!

  4. Good Morning Everyone, Nice photos & mentions of the night. The so called “star rods” (Rain); was a cool photo as well. We also got rain here in Ventura county. It is so very nice when it rains. I had a fun weekend showing my rabbits. I won blue ribbons too. It was very educational. The people there are great. Holiday fun, with the extended rabbit family. It’s like a picnic, where everyone brings their rabbits & cavys. (G. pigs). Youth groups are there. The children are very smart. Leaning responsibility at a young age, is very good. A very large group went out to dinner on Sat. night. Fun,fun, fun!

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