Author Topic: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl  (Read 616 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 11:47 »
Tower Girl has been a year-round resident of Austin for eight or nine years now. She has been provided with a nest box, but so far, she has not been able to raise chicks here. Males do visit, but do not appear to be looking for a permanent home.

This is the building which Tower Girl calls home:



Tower Girl is a very beautiful falcon:



https://biodiversity.utexas.edu/resources/falcon-cam

An article on Tower Girl from earlier this year:

https://www.statesman.com/news/20180214/herman-at-long-last-is-motherhood-approaching-for-ut-falcon

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 11:53 »
This past breeding season, Tower Girl appeared to have found a mate. Hopes were high; there were at least two eggs in the nest, but in the end the eggs did not hatch.

Tower Girl incubating earlier this year:

 

 

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 12:01 »
An article on Tower Girl, posted yesterday:

Resident peregrine falcon “Tower Girl” hosts two other falcons sparking speculation in future of local population

By Jackson Barton

Perched atop the 307-foot UT Tower, “Tower Girl,” the University’s resident peregrine falcon, captivated bird enthusiasts with her first appearance in two weeks on Oct. 3, notably with two other peregrine falcons. Audience members witnessed the social event up close through the Biodiversity Center’s “Falcon Cam.”

Nicole Elmer, the center’s administrative associate, displays one of Tower Girl’s feathers on her desk. Elmer said she witnessed the trio flying around the Tower during the foggy afternoon.

“It was pretty exciting,” Elmer said. “I hadn’t seen her in a long time.”

Integrative biology professor Timothy Keitt, who teaches a class in biology of birds and answers questions about Tower Girl, said it is not uncommon for Tower Girl to host migrating falcons in the fall, which is outside mating season for peregrine falcons.

“In past years, migrating males have visited the Tower and even mated with Tower Girl,” Keitt said. “It’s a bit early as egg laying is typically in April.”

Unlike other peregrine falcons, Tower Girl does not migrate south for the winter. Keitt said this could be due to a scar indicating a possible wing injury.

“It may be something that begins to be painful after a very long flight,” Keitt said. “Birds do strange things. There are many, many exceptions in the bird world and in most of nature itself.”

Spearheaded by Elmer and UT alumnus Bruce Calder, the Falcon Cam went live in March. Calder, who graduated in 1981, has been closely involved with Tower Girl since he spotted her on campus summer 2013.

“This was stunning to me since peregrine falcons are not known to inhabit Central Texas during midsummer,” Calder said in an email.

After constructing multiple nesting boxes, Calder observed Tower Girl with her eggs in the tower nesting box for three years, none of which hatched because they may have been infertile. Calder said Tower Girl has apparently only been “hooking up” with other males passing through Austin, and she will need to form a permanent bond for a successful breeding season.

Calder said if Tower Girl successfully hatches and raises her young to adulthood, it could mark the beginning of a permanent peregrine population in Central Texas. If Tower Girl mothers a new generation of falcons, Calder said he wants the University to take credit.

“It never was about me,” Calder said. “But instead is about UT encouraging the propagation of a rare and formerly endangered species.”


http://dailytexanonline.com/2018/10/18/resident-peregrine-falcon-%E2%80%9Ctower-girl%E2%80%9D-hosts-two-other-falcons-sparking-speculation-in

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 16:14 »
Given that Radisson had a summer home in Texas last winter, it does beg the question if Tower Girl's companions are banded and if so where they might be from.  Who knows, might be one another one of ours ... heavens know they seem to like hanging out in Texas.

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 08:00 »
Given that Radisson had a summer home in Texas last winter, it does beg the question if Tower Girl's companions are banded and if so where they might be from.  Who knows, might be one another one of ours ... heavens know they seem to like hanging out in Texas.

It is always possible that one or more of the males who make a stop in Austin during the winter could be one of yours. I do check the nest from time to time, but have not seen any visitors at the nest recently. The cam has remained live during the year.

During the last breeding season, I did not see any banded male at the nest. I am pretty sure that the male who stayed for a while was unbanded.

I thought there was already an active thread for this site, but did not find one. The images I posted are from my archives earlier this year.

Texas certainly is a favourite area for many peregrines in winter: particularly Austin, San Antonio and Dallas (where a 2017 juvie from the Kansas City, Missouri, nest spent part of last winter). And not to forget Lewis, with his annual sojourn in The Woodlands, Texas.

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 22:46 »
During the last week of October, I saw Tower Girl visit her nest several times.

Then, on October 29, I found a male at the nest site. After watching him for a while, I was able to see his legs, and he is unbanded. He is a very handsome tiercel.

 

 

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 23:14 »
The male was doing some vocalizing, and suddenly, Tower Girl was there. She has such beautiful Anatum colouring.

 

 

 

Then, they left together.

Offline Alison

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Re: Texas / Austin - 2018 / ? & Tower Girl
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 23:20 »
Today, there was a different visitor at the nest; a very striking hawk. Not someone the peregrines would want to see.