Thursday, 25 June 2015

#EagleWATCH: Branching Bald Eagles

The young eagles have begun to branch, with the siblings in the White Rock nest, Kilo and Lima leading the way. The two eaglets can be seen moving about the nest bowl, moving errant sticks and feeding.

K58 in the Two Harbors nest is growing well and can be seen perched on nearby rocks, and wandering around the nest bowl. Her parents have been providing loads of food and the result is a big, healthy, young bald eagle.

Uno, the Delta 3 nest eaglet has grown immensely and could be the first of this years' eaglets to fledge.

The Harrison Mills and Humboldt Bay eaglets are still quite small and are not yet at the branching stage. Both pairs of siblings are growing well and are well fed.

To view these live cams and watch these young bald eagles on their journey to independence, visit our site. Keep in touch via our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter at @WildEarth. Be sure to join the conversation via the #EagleWATCH hashtag.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Satellite troubles

This morning we discovered the satellite link was not working which meant we were not able to start broadcasting the Sunrise Drive. Troubleshooting and contact with the satellite operator revealed that the BUC on the satellite had stopped working. (The BUC is the part that sits at the focal point in front of the satellite dish and receives and transmits the data.)

We are working hard to get a new BUC to site as quickly as possible but that is expected to take a couple of days.

In the mean time we have moved the broadcast to our back up satellite link and will continue to broadcast #safariLIVE as scheduled, albeit at a somewhat reduced resolution and bit rate.

We will keep everyone updated on progress through our Facebook page and the #safarilive hashtag on Twitter.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

It's Falcon Fledging Week

The Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine falcons have started to fledge. The first, thought to be one of the males, known as Rusty, took off in the middle on the night on Sunday. His siblings, Garrett, Elizabeth and Nina, are following suit, each taking their turn to perch next to or on top of the nestbox.

Fuzzy, at the Cathedral Falcons nest, is much smaller than we'd hoped they'd beat this stage, but has been seen wingersizing and perching on the astro-turf covered ledge of the nestbox. 

They are growing but still much smaller than the Great Spirit Bluff four and might only fledge in coming weeks, when their wings are strong enough to make the first flight attempts. 

Nevertheless, the young falcon has made great progress, and if they stay on track, should continue to surprise us. Follow the conversation about these extraordinary birds on Twitter, using the hashtag #FalconWATCH and have your say on our Facebook page as well.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

#FalconWATCH: Progress Report

It's all great news for the Peregrine falcons this week. All the chicks are active and are losing their downy feathers.

Fuzzy, Dorothy and E2's chick at the Cathedral Falcons nest has completely turned around, growing much larger since our last update and has started to catch up to its counterparts in the Great Spirit Bluff nest.

Fuzzy and Dorothy, May 18              Fuzzy and Dorothy, June 9

After being banded and treated for parasites by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, but being too underdeveloped to be sexed, the chick has made great strides in terms of growth and physical activity. It moves about the nestbox on its own, flaps its wings and preens. This really is great news after we worried this chick would not survive. Dorothy is one tenacious and caring mother.

The Great Spirit Bluff chicks are a rowdy bunch, vying for their parents attention. Michelle and Travis have quite the job with keeping them fed, but the hard work has paid off in the form of 4 healthy chicks, and a very crowded nestbox.

Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter via the #FalconWATCH hashtag and like us on Facebook for continued updates on these raptors.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

#EagleWATCH: Progress Report

Since our last update on May 22, there has been a loss, but the remaining eaglets have grown so much more and have been spotted stretching their wings.

Sadly Lunar, the eaglet at the West End nest, died shortly after being removed from the nest for banding. The experienced and caring people at the Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) have never had a loss like this before and it is not known why or how this happened. A necropsy will be conducted and the results should be in within the next few weeks.

Kilo and Lima, in the White Rock nest are almost the same size as their parents. They have been fed and well looked after and Mom and Dad's hard work has paid off.

After the loss of one of their eaglets, Justice and Liberty at the Two Harbors nest have paid close attention their remaining little one, who isn't so little anymore. The female, who has been tagged and banded, is K-58. She is strong and healthy, and protested when IWS's Peter Sharpe removed her from the nest to fit her with her new accessories.

The Humboldt Bay eaglets, E1 and E2 are looking well and are being regularly fed, with Mr and Mrs staying close to the nest should the young ones need them.

Putter and Driver, the eaglets in the Harrison Mills nest are still going strong. Driver is still the larger of the two, but Putter is growing and should catch up by the time they begin to fledge.

The Delta 3 eaglet, known as Uno, has only grown bigger since our last update and can be seen exercising her wings, preening and enjoying frequent feeds.

Branching is likely to begin in the next 2 weeks for some of the eagles, so be sure to join and follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #EagleWATCH, and like us on Facebook to keep up with the bald eagles and their progress.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

WE Welcomes James Hendry

WildEarth is excited to welcome James Hendry to our team this month. Our regular viewers will have already seen him out and about on SafariLIVE, but here's some background information on the newest addition to our safaris.

James grew up in Johannesburg and was schooled at St John’s College. He has an honours degree in science from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg and a masters in Human Development from the University of Cape Town.

After a year as a guitar teacher and sports coach, James moved to the wilderness, where for the next eight years, he worked as a safari guide, head ranger, guide trainer, land manager and lodge manager. Working in the bush afforded James the chance to further his research in rural South Africa. He has published various articles on his research with rural people who live around game reserves – this was the focus of his master's thesis.

James has always had a bent for the theatrical. He has worked as a professional musician, guitar teacher and part-time actor. He has also dabbled in wildlife filmmaking (appearing in a children's wildlife series), produces sales videos for safari operators and composes the music scores for these videos.

James has a dry, sarcastic wit that reflects the inspiration and joy he derives from observing the human condition and the natural environment. He speaks both Shangane and isiZulu and is the author and co-author of three South African best-selling books.

Be sure to join James and the rest of the team for our live safaris, via the WildEarth Safaris cam, and follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.