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elaine

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Posts posted by elaine


  1. Madrone Wall is back open!! Woot-woot! August 1st was the planned reopening date for this season (both COVID and Peregrine related), but County Parks made good on their intent to reopen it as soon as possible. Big thanks to Interim Parks Manager, Tom Riggs, for making the extra effort to let climbers and other park enthusiasts get back out there.

    Please note the hours through August. The gate will open at *9am and the gate will close at 8pm (An 8:30am opening might be possible on some days, but we were told to expect 9am). County Parks has seen a 20% staff reduction, so please be patient, and maybe say "thanks" when you see one of the rangers in the morning or evening. Please also remember that 8pm closing means 8pm. Do not get stuck behind the gate after closing. (**Quick edit: 9am opening will likely be the starting time for the rest of the season. Always pay attention to the County Parks website for info - https://www.clackamas.us/parks)

    Thanks for remembering to pay the $6 Day Use fee, or grab an annual pass in person at a few parks locations (or purchase online) - https://www.clackamas.us/parks/annualpass.html, and thanks for being good stewards of this little gem of a place.

    Watch out for poison oak, especially as you get closer to the wall, and keep us posted here if you see that there are yellow jacket/hornet nests. The MWPC hopes to be out there in the coming days to clear back some of the poison oak and make sure the trails are ok.

    Belay on!
    Kellie & Keith, MWPC

    www.facebook.com/madronewall

    Madrone Wall Summer Hours.png


  2. Below is a post I wrote on Cascade Corridor Climbers Facebook page today.

    Per my post on FB below - https://www.facebook.com/groups/CCClimbers/permalink/3266008956798011/

    I thought I would share a little info on this page that I have learned in talking with 3 different wildlife biologists, who don't know each other at all, as well as the Head Ranger at Smith Rock about Peregrine Falcon development and behaviors, and why many of our favorite climbing and recreation areas have restrictions. The Head Ranger at Smith shared some info on both Bald and Golden Eagles, too, which might affect other areas besides Smith.

    As someone who has been involved with climbing access since 2003 in Oregon, I think it's important that all climbers (and hikers, mountain bikers, etc) not only understand a little about the wildlife that we share our spaces with, but also recognize that there is a discrepancy with how different land managers are not on the same page. The more information we have, the more we can advocate for a balanced approach to recreational access. And don't get me wrong, I love Peregrines and other raptors, and I think they need space when raising their offspring.

    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is misused by land managers. It has to do with *intentional* take and killing, and it was not written for unintentional disturbance, such as climbers finding a new eyrie/nest on a cliff that wasn't known about.

    -Two of the most critical times to not disturb the falcons are courtship and eyrie/nest selection, and the first two weeks after the chicks hatch because they can't thermoregulate.

    -If juveniles can't figure out flying within that first 24 hours of attempted fledging, it's possible that they will die. They can't hunt if they can't fly. (This certainly isn't always the case.) One wildlife biologist who bred them in captivity in conjunction with the Peregrine Fund and released them from Hack boxes said that they had no parents (role models) to watch for flying and hunting skills. It's as if they just knew what to do to survive.

    -Juveniles are hunting on their own in one week of fledging.

    -Juveniles will go further and further from the nest in the days and weeks after fledging (per radio collar info). They may be gone for days at a time two weeks after fledging.

    -Juveniles will migrate south come September while the adults often stick around in the region. Cascade mountain Peregrines (Smith/Menagerie) *might* head to the coast for the variety of shorebirds for food come August/September and into winter before returning to their typical eyrie/nesting area.

    Many climbing and hiking areas (Cape Horn, WA) have different dates when closures are lifted. Some are two weeks after fledging (Honeycombs), and some are flat out July 15/31. Blanket reopening dates are not necessary, which is what Beacon Rock often is.

    **Smith Rock lifts Peregrine closures between 4 and 7 days after the youngest juvenile fledges because that's enough time to not let the falcons harass climbers, and climbers won't bother them anymore, either. For the bald eaglets nesting in the tree just outside of the Bivy campground next to the river, the restrictions for the Canyon trail and rim campsites are lifted (in a normal year) one week after the eaglets fledge. Monitors are looking to see when the eaglets do not return to the nest at night, and not present in the nest the next morning, and typically that's one week. Golden Eagle closures on the Monument are often lifted immediately because the juveniles are gone from the area after fledging. Goldens are more sensitive to human disturbance compared to other raptors in the park.

    I loved the Head Ranger at Smith's final statement about raptor closures: "Park users respect the closures because we are transparent with them."

    A long, but informative post. I am also not any kind of raptor expert, but I am just sharing the knowledge and practice of those who work with raptors. I do think that the more information we have about nesting raptors, the more we can respectfully challenge those who are making decisions. Change doesn't come quick, but engaging land managers in conversations with facts and information with management of raptors at other climbing areas can be helpful in starting those conversations. Kudos to people like Greg Orton, who has done a fabulous job in Southern Oregon with this.

    I added this comment/reply to my post - 

    I would say that Smith Rock is a good model for balancing wildlife closures and recreation. They work with 3 wildlife biologists (one state park and two US F&W), as well as the Oregon Eagle Foundation. I've always enjoyed looking through the eagle cams set up at Northern Point, and also talking with the rangers and volunteers monitoring to learn more. With the bald eaglets as a great example, they are actually waiting to see that the eaglets have spent the night away from the nest before lifting the restrictions. Always follow www.smithrock.com for more info, or follow their FB page.

    I would just add that it's best to keep in mind what I shared above that some of the milestones in development with juveniles fledging, or even some of the adult behaviors are what's typical and normally observed. However, there can be some variances with some of this, too, but are not as frequent.
    I guess be patient with your favorite climbs reopening if the juveniles take longer to fledge than normal, which is approximately 42 days after hatching using Peregrines as an example.

     

    I tried to make a point to state that some of the points below are not an end-all, be-all. There will always be variances with nesting raptors and juvenile development, but 3 different wildlife biologists who don't know one another can't be that far off, nor can a Head Ranger at Smith Rock be that out of touch, either.

     

    Kellie

    President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee


  3. Howdy!

    Any Beacon regulars on this site been involved with Peregrine Falcon monitoring or aware of typical fledging times for the juveniles? Joseph Healy? I ask because I am trying to gather info from different climbing areas in an effort to present info to Clackamas County Parks RE: Madrone Wall and the development of a management plan. County Parks is pretty unaware as to what's happening with other land managers  and how they balance nesting raptors and climbing (or hiking). I have info for Smith Rocks (pretty liberal), and am working on Acker Rock and the Menagerie (OR), as well as Index. The Cape Horn Peregrines fledged on June 17, and ours at Madrone fledged June 14.

    I did call BRSP earlier this week and Heath(?) told me that the juveniles fledge the 2nd week of July. I am somewhat dubious because fledging and lifting of closures do not mean the same thing, but I haven't been involved with monitoring at Beacon over the years to know when the juveniles typically make their first flight.

    Thanks for any info!

    Kellie

    www.facebook.com/madronewall


  4. I an effort to keep this thing from the landfill, I am hoping that someone can give it the TLC it needs or find another use for it. It's 30 years old,  has a couple of tears, and the hip buckles are missing. Any takers? I am happy to meet up in Portland, and maybe at one of the gyms to hand it off? I am in SW Portland just outside of Multnomah Village.

     

    Thanks!

    Kellie

    IMG_0702.jpg

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  5. Just a reminder that the full seasonal closure for Peregrine Falcons will start tomorrow, Feb 1st.,  at the Madrone Wall (Oregon). Peregrines continue to remain on and near the eyrie. The County has hired a Biologist to train park staff and also to mainly take care of the monitoring for the County. The County cites lack of staffing to monitor the Peregrines. I will be monitoring the Peregrines 1-2x/month, and there are a couple of other climbers who have expressed interest in monitoring. If you're interested in monitoring, please message me here.

    There will be NO recreational access at the Madrone Wall Park during the seasonal closure. Please continue to refer to the County's website for information - https://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html

    You can also stay tuned here or our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/madronewall

    Thanks!

    Kellie


  6. Hello Climbers,

    Don't shoot the messenger....

    As per our Faceplant post earlier today the County has two changes for September:

    1) The closing hours for the Madrone will change on September 1st to 6pm, and this will last through October 31st. (See image attached) So, 9/1-10/31 - hours are 7am-6pm. This will change again Nov 1st and those hours will be 7am-4pm.

    2) The daily parking fee will be $6 per car instead of $5 at all of their parks. Per the County's website, it says the increase will happen "after Labor Day" (see image), so I assume that means Tuesday, September 4th. I have not seen anything about increases to their 6 month or annual passes.

    As always, please contact Clackamas County if you have questions about this, and always refer to their website for the latest information. Website for all Park info: https://clackamas.us/parks/  Madrone Wall Park County site: https://clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html

    Thanks for reading!

    Kellie Rice

    President, MWPC

    Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 9.06.32 PM.png

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  7. As taken from the Smith Rock Spring Thing Facebook Page:

    Calvin Landrus, the president of the Smith Rock Group passed away from cancer this weekend. Calvin was involved with many activities with the Smith Rock Climbing community. Calvin worked on organizing the food for the Spring Thing morning registration and evening dinner. This was one huge task that we never had to worry about because we knew Calvin had it under control. He would show up before Spring Thing with his mini van and trailer completely full of food and supplies for the event. This year he was unable to help because we was diagnosed with cancer. It took several people, including his son Jaxson Landrus to do what Calvin was able to do by himself. He also really helped the Smith Rock Group get organized and updated all our State and Federal non-profit records. Calvin has been with the Smith Rock Group for many years. Calvin had a huge heart for helping others and the climbing community. Calvin, you will be missed.

    Calvin was a top-notch human being. I had no idea about his cancer diagnosis until I read the above today. I remember his positive attitude and constant smile each morning as I registered at the Spring Thing clean up, as well as seeing him out working on his own climbing projects during the winter months.

    Godspeed, Calvin.

    Kellie

    38469427_1906481839409716_4171576123991261184_o.jpg


  8. Hi Joseph,

    Thank you for your input. I know you've been involved with monitoring over the years. Some of the approaches in Orton's drafted guide might not work for certain areas,  but I think the more informed we climbers are as a group the better of a chance that we can start a conversation with land managers. A manual from The Peregrine Fund (1996) by Cade and Enderson states that closures can be lifted once Peregrines fledge. Maybe you've seen it? I'd like to start this particular conversation with Clackamas County this next year, and not waiting until July 15th or 16th each year for re-opening. There is no one at the County with any experience around monitoring, nor did they help at all these last two years. I'm a little dubious of any monitoring by them in previous years since they haven't shown us any information when we've asked for it. The Peregrines in general started nesting later in general on the west side of the Cascades. The juveniles that I'm aware of at Madrone, Beacon, Cape Horn, and even Roseburg, all fledged within a week of each other around June 23rd. The Prairie falcon closure at Smith just lifted today for Kiss of the Leepers area. The Monument area reopened one week after the lone Bald Eaglet fledged: Fledged on June 30th, and the closure was lifted on July 7. I realize that Smith is a different beast, too, but they have tentative blanket closures, or should I say tentative opening dates in place, but rely on information from those monitoring about the "independence of the juveniles." (quote from the ranger on the phone).

    http://assets.peregrinefund.org/docs/pdf/research-library/manuals/manual-eyrie-management.pdf

    https://smithrock.com/news-all/friday-13th-good-luck-first-kiss-smith-rock-climbers

    https://smithrock.com/news-all/most-smith-rock-raptor-closures-lifted


  9. Good afternoon,

     

    I just received this from Greg Orton from the SW Oregon Climbers Coalition. It has very timely information around Peregrine closures and why they might not need to be as restrictive as they once were. I think that the more information we as climbers have around the best available science regarding the healthy Peregrine population, the better chance we may have with land managers and less restrictive closures to our favorite crags and trails. We do need to be willing to start that conversation with land managers though.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/2322206/climbers-changing-outdated-raptor-closures-peregrine-falcon

    Thanks to:

    Adam Baylor (Mazamas and Access Fund RC)

    Greg Orton (SW OR Climbers Coalition)

    Dave Peterson (US F&W - Retired)

    Thanks for reading!

    Kellie Rice

    President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee


  10. Madrone Wall Park will re-open on Monday, July 16 at 7:00am1f44f.png👏! Always refer to the County's website for park rules, hours, parking fees, and other important information: https://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html

    * Park hours are 7:00am-8:00pm daily. Do not get caught behind the gate at closing.
    * PLEASE carpool, as there are only 20 parking spaces. You can also carpool from Carver or Barton parks nearby. Trimet bus line #30 also has stops very close to the park.
    * There is a $5 parking fee (increasing to $6 on 9/4) or you can purchase 6 month or annual passes at the following parks: Metzler, Eagle Fern, Barton, Feyrer, or at their admin offices on Beavercreek Rd.
    * Please also note from our monitoring posts that the eyrie/nest for the Peregrine falcons is located on the Shining Wall. The juveniles will be 3 weeks old at time of opening and should be hunting on their own.
    * There are no established trails to the top of the cliff. Plans are in the works for 2019 for more trails.
    * Poison oak is in the area and mainly as you are halfway up both trails and near the wall. Make a point to know what it looks like if you're unsure.
    * Thank you for "Leaving No Trace" while you're there, and thank you for your patience!
    YAY!!1f642.png

    Kellie Rice

    President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee

    www.facebook.com/madronewall


  11. June 22nd Update:

    We have two juveniles for sure! I am guessing based on their lack of white feathers as well as their movement abilities around and away from the scrape that they are at about 5 weeks old - 35 days. One was more adventurous and was about 5 feet off the eyrie/scrape/nest to the left. (Maybe above the route Paleontologist?)  Another was atop the block on the right side. See photo below. It's impossible to see the birds in the picture, but you can see their location.
    Mama bird was screaming at me while perched in the Doug Fir tree.  I anticipate fledging in the next week by both if they follow the typical development of 42-45 days old before fledging.

    Keith was also able to see two juveniles with an adult feeding atop the block earlier this week. Remember that their actual nest/scrape location where they hatched is behind the block.

    Once again, the County has told us that they will not open the park before July 15. We actually don't have a firm opening date yet. They do have plans to do some improvements before opening, including an electronic fee cache. They will definitely allow the two weeks disbursement period so that the juveniles can develop their wings, and they will only do their improvements after the disbursement period is complete. I wish we could get them to commit to a "2 weeks after fledging opening," but we can't just yet. They're going to open it when they're ready.

    Thank you!

    Kellie

    June.22.TwoJuveniles.JPG


  12. Hi Everyone,

    On Wednesday, June 13th,  I was able to spot one chick (lots of white feathers) on the right hand side of the scrape. USF&W consult say that the chicks start moving around the nest at around 3-4 weeks old. Mama bird was definitely agitated that I was there, too, and more so with previous observations as she circled above me and went back to the cliff.

    In other news, Keith and I had a productive meeting with the County Wednesday afternoon. We discussed them having more of a role with monitoring in future years (they haven't helped at all this year or last year), new drafted trailhead kiosk sign & map completed by Sarah Bradham at the Mazamas (thanking her for her time and expertise!), as well as future improvements that will happen before opening this summer. The County will not open the park before July 15 this year.

    The County also is not interested in building a trail from the cliff to the top this year, but is more supportive for a project in 2019.

     

    Thank you for respecting the closure during this time.

    Kellie

    President, MWPC

     

    chick observed.JPG

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  13. Observation today from 6:30-8am. At 6:30 I watched through the trees just before entering the parking lot and I could see the female (I assume) climbing up the left side of the block and sitting momentarily on top.

    She quickly left the cliff and flew to the Doug Fir tree. She sat 15-20 feet below the top and on the right. The male (I assume) was out hunting. At 6:42 there was definitely cacking/crying at the eyrie. My guess is based on Dave Peterson's information is that they might be between 2 and 3 weeks old. At 6:48 am a male flew into the top of the tree from the south. The female went up and circled near him, but there was no food exchange. The female then immediately flew to above and right of the eyrie - about 15 feet. She continued to make noise.

    At 7am, the male left the tree and flew south to likely hunt more. At 7:25 she left that upper position at the cliff, flew into the eyrie, and dropped behind the block. The chicks were loud with mama there! At around 7:29 she came up and was perched at the back of the block calling/cacking again.

    At 7:40 the male flew into the eyrie with food and delivered it to the block, but the female took it and went to the tree. She sat on a short east-facing branch while she fed. The male went to the top of the tree and sat quietly.

    There is no doubt that we have chicks, but it's possible that the chicks were fed before or after my observation time.

    I already mentioned this in my last post, but based on my conversation with Dave Peterson (USF&W- Retired) this last Saturday, we should start to see chicks moving behind the block between 3 and 4 weeks old, so Father's Day weekend, give or take a few days?

    Thank you for respecting the closure during this time.
    We have a meeting with Clackamas County next Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully we'll have more of an idea of the age of the chicks and when we might be able to estimate an approximate opening date.

    Thank you,

    Kellie

    7.07 and Before Food Delivery.JPG

    7.29AM Before Food Exchange.JPG

     

    7.47 After Food Exchange.JPG


  14. We have chicks!!

    At 7:01 an adult flew in with food and dropped behind the block where they are nesting. There is no mistaking the sound that I heard - a chorus of chicks chirping! Dave Peterson, USF&W - Retired, said that they could be likely 2 weeks old. Peterson also said that we would likely hear them crying - almost a cacking sound - at 3-4 weeks old, but continue chirping while being fed. He also said that at 3-4 weeks old we would start to see movement behind the block, and movement on top of the block at 5 weeks old. Ian Caldwell, past President and current Ranger at Smith Rock, had told me back during our trail building days in 2016 that we would definitely be able to hear chicks.

    The eyrie position in the rocks creates an amphitheater effect with the sounds the falcons (adults and chicks) make, so if an adult brings them food we can definitely hear it while standing on the ground.

    It's hard to really say how old they are or how many there are, but a normal clutch size is between 3 and 5 chicks.

    Thank you for respecting the closure. It should also be noted that both falcons seemed very agitated by my presence today even though I was observing from the same location.

    After feeding chicks - 7.09am.MOV


  15. Hello Climbers,
     
    Below is my exact email to the County, Keith D, our USF&W contacts, and a member of the Parks Advisory Board
     
    6:45am-8:10am was my time observing today.
     
    I parked along the highway at 6:40am. I could hear a peregrine calling as I walked up the access road from HWY 224. I didn't see anything at the nesting site, but found one atop the favorite tree at 6:45 am. He(?) made the familiar cacking call on and off.
     
    I kept looking at the nesting site and didn't see anything until 6:55 when one popped out from behind the block and sat atop. That's when she(?) began to cack. The one in the tree sat quietly until 7:13 when it flew off and headed south.
     
    The female continued cacking on and off at the cliff until 7:53 when she left the cliff and flew low and east. I never heard anything in the distance from another peregrine while she was alone at the nesting site. At 7:56 I could see her return from the east to where she sat atop of the block (nesting site) again.
    I mentioned this last week, but USF&W say that the female may leave the nest for a break, to defecate, or for a food exchange. The latter happened at 8am.
     
    As she sat atop the block at around 8am, I could hear another peregrine cacking and approaching from behind me from the south & west. He(?) landed in the tree, but a little lower than before (another normal spot). Upon his landing in the tree the female left the block and flew to the tree. She(?) returned to the cliff and I could see something dark in her talons. She landed above the eyrie/nesting area about 15 feet above and right. She was visibly feeding on something as she tore away with what was at her feet. The male(?) stayed in the tree, and moved up to the top again.
     

    My assumption is that we still have eggs, but no chicks yet. I anticipate that we might be having chicks at any time. It is also my assumption, but hoping those with more experience will chime in, that maybe around the chicks being 4-5 weeks old is where we might see more movement at the nest. I anticipate them moving about and coming into view from behind the block and maybe at week 5 them standing atop the block. Thoughts?

    Thank you for continuing the respect the closure.

    Kellie

     

     

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    Doug Fir Peregrine - Male?.JPG

    Eyrie Peregrine - Female?.JPG

    6.55AM - Eyrie.MOV


  16. 5/19/18 Observation
     
    Plug in some extra speakers to your computer if you have them since sound files don't transfer very well.
     
    I arrived at 6:35am. I looked at the historic nesting site/eyrie and favorite Doug Fir tree first and saw no peregrines at that moment. I also didn't hear anything. I quickly scanned the area, including trees and cliff and did not see anything. I went back to watch the eyrie though binoculars again and within a minute a peregrine (female?) popped out from behind the  block and sat at the back of the block at 6:42am. It made it's familiar cacking call on and off. (See "6:45" photo)
     
    At 6:55am she(?) continued this call on and off (watch "6.55" video). About 38 seconds into this video you can hear another peregrine off in the distance. I am speaking in the video and mention something about "waiting for food," which is when you can hear another in the distance. So cool! I believe it was her mate calling back to her.
     
    Around 6:57 - within 2 minutes after shooting the video- another peregrine flew in and delivered food. I saw this through binoculars and had already stopped my phone for recording. I don't think it would have picked it up well anyways. The male(?) stood atop the left side of the block while the female dropped back behind. The male(?) then flew off to the tree (see photo - "6.59") and sat quietly for the remainder of my observation until 7:40am.
     
    7.06 video provides additional call by peregrine behind the block, which I think is helpful to others who monitor or hear peregrines. The female(?) behind the block made this weird wailing/chirping sound (not cacking) on and off for about 15 or so minutes, and she(?) did not come out again for the rest of my observation.
     

    We do believe that they are incubating eggs right now. It's really hard to tell, but based on the timing of what's happening at active eyries west of the Cascades the hatching of the chicks might be now or in the next week or so. That means 6 weeks after hatching is fledging time, which could mean fledging in early July. We just can't see them behind the block. We'll have to wait until they are 4 or 5 weeks old, as they might be moving around the scrape more and we can catch a glimpse of them at if they move from behind the block.

    I stayed only for about an hour. There was no need to stay any longer since I saw what I needed to see. Thanks for reading!

    Kellie

    President, MWPC

    www.facebook.com/madronewall

     
     

    6.45 Peregrine at Back Calling for Mate.JPG

    6.55am & Before Food Delivery.MOV

    6.59 Male in Tree After Food Delivery.JPG

    7.06am and After Food Delivery.MOV


  17. May 12th Update:

    After consultation with USF&W (Dave Peterson, USF&W - Retired) on the phone late this morning, we believe that there is a nesting pair and that they are incubating eggs at this time. This belief is also supported by  the observations last weekend that happened at the historic nesting site. During our observations last year, we stopped seeing them at the site or flying above in mid-late April, and we stopped seeing them all-together in May. This led us to believe that the pair did not nest out at the Madrone

    Arrived at 6:35am. One adult (Adult #1) was perched in Old Growth Snag (OGS) near North Trail and maybe 100-150 ft from wall. Kept eye on historic eyrie through binoculars for majority of observation. Adult #1 in tree flew at 6:51 and headed south. No observed activity in historic eyrie, but kept eye on it through binoculars.  At 7:27, heard loud chirping above and found two peregrines in OGS. One on east side of tree (Adult #2) and one on west side of tree (Adult #1). Saw one on east side of tree poop through binoculars. At 7:28. One continued loud chirping while other made familiar cacking call. Adult #2 (pooping one) left tree and flew into eyrie and behind block - continued to chirp. The other flew in behind block momentarily and then returned to tree. At 7:39, Adult #1 in tree left and flew east. Kept eye on eyrie through binoculars. Saw ruffle of feathers and movement behind left side of block at 7:56am.  I continued to monitor until 8:40. Checking eyrie, OGS, and surrounding area for adult returning or other activity at eyrie.

    USF&W say that the female will leave the nest/eyrie when weather is good, and may fly to a nearby location to defacate and to also complete a food exchange. The adults will not leave the nest when the weather is bad though. Weather was just fine today.

    We may not have an earlier opening date after all. It's possible that the female laid her clutch of eggs on the later side. Peterson has said that falcon activity quiets down when the female is laying her clutch of eggs, which can take 7-10 days. It should be noted that Peterson is a Master Falconer with a captive pair breeding on his property in Roseburg. He has cameras on them and say the eggs are two weeks away from hatching.

    We will have to keep our eye on the historic nesting site, but the difficulty for us is that it's behind the block.

    Thanks for continuing to respect the closure.

    Kellie

    5.12.18 Tree locations.JPG

    5.12.18 eyrie.JPG


  18. May 4th and 5th Observations at Madrone

    (no observations were made the weekend of April 27th, as I was in California, and our crew of volunteers is made up of 3 people....we can always use more.)

    May 4th: Keith D was out Friday morning for one hour before work between 6:30 and 7:38am. He observed at one point two peregrines  at the historic nesting site/eyrie (see photo with oval below). A peregrine was also observed (and typically is) in an old growth Doug Fir away from the wall, left side that is close to the North Trail. A peregrine was spotted coming out from behind a large block at the historic site, too.

    May 5th: (Notes from Google Spreadsheet) Began observation at 6:40am. First sighting of peregrine was in old growth doug fir off to left near North Trail & away form wall. Perched there until 6:51, but also quiet the entire time. Flew south and west (hunting?). Appeared on tree above wall and above historic eyrie at 7:05. Stayed perched for 15+ minutes and then flew west. At 7:27 - noticed a peregrine perched on block at historic eyrie (photo with oval) and made occasional single cack noise on/off for 15 minutes and was facing east. (Same location as Keith's observation above). At 7:40 peregrine on cliff faced south and appeared ready for take off. At this moment another peregrine flew in for a small scuffle/fight lasting 15 seconds at most. One peregrine at the cliff flew to nearby doug fir and the other peregrine who flew into the cliff took off. At 7:45 the peregrine from the cliff made a different cacking sound - high pitched chirp (see video link below 3 photos), and then by 8:00 am the peregrine in the tree had left. Observation ended at 8:15 without seeing or hearing any other peregrine in the trees or along the cliff.

    Thank you for respecting the closure out at the Madrone. There is no public access at this time for any kind of recreation.

    Kellie Rice

    President, MWPC

    www.facebook.com/madronewall
     

     

     

    7.27AM.JPG

    7.36am Before Scuffle.JPG

    6.51AM First Sighting.JPG

    7.45AM After Scuffle at Cliff.MOV


  19. April 22nd Observation:

    Below is information that I had already sent to the County this morning. I will add it to our FB page later on today.

    I was out at the Madrone today from 6:35 until 8:10. I never once saw or hear a Peregrine kack/cack?, fly above, or sit on the cliff or usual tree.
    I walked both access trails as well as the entire base of the wall. I did not hear anything, such as a Peregrine on the scrape, nor did I see any evidence on the ground (feathers or carcass) of recent feedings.

    Today was the first day since late February that a Peregrine was not observed by me this year. It was around this time last year that we also started observe Peregrines were no longer in the park.

    While we didn't see or hear any Peregrine's today that does not mean that the closure has been lifted. Please continue to respect the closure until further notice here or on the County's website. The County is in favor of an earlier opening (supporting current USF&W recommendations) that could likely mean early to mid June.

     

    Edit: Another volunteer, Nate, made an observation in the late afternoon on 4/22: Saw both peregrines as we approached the wall along the "north trail", and one of them circled around above us as we came past the "perching tree". They never stooped, and never really got close, but one did cack continuously for a few minutes, while the other sat perched in the tree. Once we had walked to the far end of the wall, they had both disappeared. We walked back along the wall to the other end and then back to the parking lot and didn't hear or see them again.

    USF&W consult responded:

    It is getting a little late for them to be initiating nestling, but its still possible they have not layed eggs yet.  If they have already initiated, they would likely be on eggs.  That means you'd be unlikely to see a pair together at this time, unless their nest failed or they have not nested yet (or do not plan to). Hard to tell what Nate saw.  I suspect it is a territorial male escorting another bird out of his territory.  But really could be anything.  Given your recent LACK of observations of adults, I suspect this pair, if nestling, has nested elsewhere.  BUT... as I said above there may still be some time for them to initiate nestling.  So I wouldn't count them out quite yet.

    If you have any interest in helping to monitor please contact me here.

    Thanks!

    Kellie

    President, MWPC

     

     


  20. Update from April 14th:

    Only one peregrine was observed at the park yesterday. I arrived at 6:45 am and stayed until 8:10am. One falcon flew to the center of the cliff at 7:10 am, made it's usual kacking sound on and off for about 15 minutes, then flew to its favorite Douglas Fir tree to the left of the parking lot. It stayed there until 7:32 am where it flew south and east (basically flying parallel to HWY 224) towards Barton Park. Sometimes I can hear them kacking in the distance, but this time I could not. No falcon returned to the park during my final 40 minutes there.

    Based on consultation with US Fish and Wildlife, I plan to walk to the wall next weekend to see if I can possibly hear of another falcon that might be sitting on the eggs. Or, maybe I might see evidence of recent feedings on the ground. Given the late scenario in the photo in this thread, there is a slim chance that the female might have just finished laying the rest of her clutch of eggs. US F&W say that things tend to get quiet when the female is laying her eggs.

    The last time I saw two peregrines at the same time in the park was March 25th.

    Also, please know that the County Parks Staff and Parks Advisory Board do support US F&W recommendations to open the park early if we can document that the peregrines are not nesting. US F&W is comfortable with a June 1st opening, but the County and our group did not confirm a date yet. Keith and I are certain that the falcons did not nest there last year (2017), but that is the first year we've gathered data since they showed up in 2010. The County has told us that there is monitoring data, but we have never seen it. Peregrine falcons can relocate where they nest from time to time, but what we don't know is where that could be if it's not Madrone Wall Park.

    Thanks for reading!

    Kellie


  21. Hello Climbers,

    More info has been posted to our Facebook page, but I thought I would put some of the updates here.

    Peregrine falcons have been spotted out at the park on 5 of the 6 weekends we've been observing since Feb 28th. We have observed between 1 and 2 Peregrines at a time either flying above in any direction, in a tree, or on the cliff at the center of the wall (from standing in the parking lot - the former meadow). Most of the observations have been early in the morning when we would expect them to be hunting for food and eventually be bringing food to the nest/scrape if one is present. Myself and another volunteer, Nate, have done all of the observations so far. Keith D will eventually out there, but has had a lot of international work and out of town family commitments. If you have any interest in helping us to monitor, please message me here.

    Some helpful facts and tidbits of info:

    1) Keith and I have consulted with two US Fish and Wildlife experts on this - one retired and one presently employed out of the main Portland office. The current one, an Eagle Coordinator with the PNW, has been out to the site and responds to all of our emails and phone calls.

    2) Keith and I monitored last year from late Feb through May 31st. We suspect that based on our data and in consultation with USF&W that the falcons may have relocated to another area last year. I will also add that Clackamas County Parks have told us that there is monitoring information from when they first showed up in 2009 or 2010, but they have never shown us that data.

    3) Current consultation with USF&W supports an earlier opening (June 1st) if we can determine that there is no nesting present at the Madrone. Also, if the same scenario happens next year (2019), and we can determine that they again are not nesting at the Madrone Wall Park for the 3rd year in a row, then they would support another June 1st opening and ending the seasonal February 1st closure completely. If the  peregrines showed back up in future years and began nesting, then the County would implement another closure as long as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is still in place.

     

    4) At the March 20th Parks Advisory Board meeting (mostly all volunteer with key Park staff), Keith and I presented them some basic information and history about peregrine falcons. We also shared our monitoring efforts from last year, our observations so far, and even input from US F&W experts. This presentation was a first step in educating them around Peregrines in general, as well as what we're doing and what we are looking when we monitor out there. We will be meeting with the County this week (April 4th) to talk about a variety of topics, but we will talk about Peregrines. Keith and I want to start the conversation around: 1) A June 1st opening if no nesting (instead of July 15), 2) A "Two weeks after fledging" opening date instead of a blanket July 15 date if they are nesting, and 3) Ending the Feb 1st blanket seasonal closure if there is no nesting again this year and in 2019. This would mean that the Madrone would be open year-round in 2020.

    Again, we want to start that above conversation.

    5) Given the timeline of typical peregrine falcon nesting, it takes between 7 and 14 days for the female to lay her entire clutch of eggs - the eggs don't all come out at once, every other day seems to be the case. There is an approximate 32 days of incubation where one of the adults are sitting on the eggs, followed by  42 days before the chicks take their first flight. We are getting at the point in spring of where the female should be laying her clutch of eggs. When this happens only one adult will be out hunting for food.

     

    Remember from my previous post that the Park is completely closed to all access at this time. The Madrone is too small compared to many other areas ( Smith Rock and Beacon Rock) to have partial closures, and most importantly, the Conditional Use Permit (Zoned Timber land with a Conditional Use for recreation) requires that there is onsite parking. The County would never allow parking along 224 with access to the park. This means that if there was partial access allowed and a 300 ft buffer zone on either side of the eyrie, cars in the parking lot, Park maintenance vehicles, and even service vehicles for the vault toilet would disturb the falcons way too much.

    Please stay tuned here, and I will certainly let you know if there will be an earlier opening or not.

     

    Thanks!

    Kellie Rice

    President, MWPC

    www.facebook.com/madronewall

    Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 7.00.09 AM.png


  22. Greetings Climbers:

    I am not sure if it's best to continue to post Madrone Wall related issues or not since it finally reopened to the public in October, but I'll post it here anyways for now...

    I am sure that some of you are not on Facebook, but I will share our page and most recent link in this post.

    A few reminders: The park will continue to remain open through January 31st from 7am to 4pm each day. Please pay the $5 parking fee or purchase a 6 month or annual pass if you plan to use other Clackamas County parks. Also, please do not get stuck behind the closed gate after 4pm. You will be fined and towed at your expense. Also, there are no official or established trails from the wall to the top of the cliffs. There are only two access trails from the parking lot to the wall. For those that are curious as to whether there are more hiking trails out there or not, the short answer is "NO." Please do not wander off the two main trails or try and access beyond the wall, as private property borders County land on above and to the sides of the cliff. There are plans to build more trails above the wall in 2018 in partnership with REI and some of our climbing gyms, so stay tuned.

    Please pay attention to the rules for park use that the County has established. Educate yourself before you go out there. Thank you!

    General Info for Clackamas County Parks: http://www.clackamas.us/parks/

    Specific Madrone Wall Park Info: http://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html

    The entire park will close on February 1st for nesting peregrines. Keith, myself, our DFW Raptor Specialist, and anyone else with a basic level of experience is welcome to help us monitor the falcons. We can go into big online dialogue about the positives or negatives around falcon closures, but it is what it is, and we have to work with the County and nature on this one. The birds are going to do what they want, and that includes finding what they determine to be a safe and quiet place to (hopefully) raise their offspring. While they are no longer in danger of becoming extinct and have been de-listed at the federal and state level, seasonal closures continue to happen at many of our favorite crags: Beacon, Smith Rock, and now the Madrone is included in that. The falcons began showing up in 2010, but were never monitored formally until last Spring.

    These closures at many of our favorite climbing spots protects the birds, but closures also protect humans if they feel that their chicks are being threatened. They will attack you if you come too close to their nest. The wall length at the Madrone isn't very long (a little more than 1000 feet) and the distance of the closure on either side of the nest takes up most of the wall. Besides, one of the trails comes up underneath the historical nest, and the noise from human activity ( garbage/recycling pick up, vault toilet cleaning, lawnmowers, and car horns or other human activity) can scare young chicks, causing them to fall from the nest, or anger the parents. You are probably familiar with the closures at Smith for nesting raptors: Kiss of the Leepers, Picnic Lunch Wall, Monument Area, and even the rim camping sites at the Climbers Bivy. Yes, you get to miss out on some of your favorite climbs and projects for a few months, but that gives you opportunities to focus in on other routes and let wildlife do their thing in their own space.

    There has been a fabulous dialogue on our FB page from all sorts of different angles and perspectives. At least we are talking about it. And the more we are all educated on these issues, including sharing our crags with wildlife, many of us feel that only positives will result in the long run, especially in the eyes of the land managers. So, I am going to borrow the quote by one of the FB commenters who has been volunteering a ton of their personal time out at the Madrone: "Please respect the closure when it starts, and don't be the person that ruins access to the cliff for everyone else. Whether you agree with the closure or not, it will be closed, and the falcons will be monitored for patterns and habits. And if we can respect the closure and work with the county on it, hopefully we can get earlier opening dates. But that won't happen if people poach the cliff during the closures."

    Keith and I will be meeting with the County at the end of January to draft a Raptor Management Plan since the County does not have one. We will pull plans from other climbing areas, and we hope to incorporate a "2 weeks after fledging opening date" instead of a fixed opening date. We will be watching for key behaviors that would indicate whether there is an active eyrie or not, and this includes food being brought to the nest at any point between March and June. One parent will leave the nest while the other hunts. They will never leave their eggs or chicks alone for fear of another animal preying on them. If we can determine that there is not an active eyrie, we will (hopefully) include language in the plan that they County to re-open the park for recreation before the typical July 15 opening date if we can document that there is not a succcessful eyrie, or even if the falcons have re-located, which can happen, too. They may not move for good, but they can relocate for a year.

    Please message me here or on FB if you are interested in helping with the monitoring.

    Most recent FB post: https://www.facebook.com/madronewall/posts/1476030902509442?comment_id=1476079679171231

    Here is a fabulous link from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukie about some peregrine falcons that they were able to monitor last year. Excellent photos of the male, female, and 4 chicks as they hatched, grew, and took flight. Also you get to understand some of the behavior of the peregrines. Dates are included as to when the photos were taken. Lots of photos & little reading! https://falcon-info.uwm.edu/

    Thanks for reading & Happy 2018!

    Kellie Rice

    President, MWPC

    www.facebook.com/madronewall

     

     

    • Thanks 1

  23. After 20 years of being closed to the public, the Madrone Wall in Clackamas County near the Carver Bridge Cliff will open this Saturday October 21st at 7:00 am

     

    Please read the information on Clackamas County's website about the rules: http://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html

     

    There will be a $40 citation for not paying the $5 parking fee, and if you get caught behind the gate after closing you will be towed at your expense.

     

    6 month or annual park passes are also available for purchase at Metzler, Eagle Fern, Feyrer, and Barton Parks. You can also get these passes at their admin office at 150 Beavercreek Rd, or by calling 503-742-4414

     

    Thanks for all of the support over the years, and please carpool to the Madrone! On site parking is limited to 20 regular spaces and 2 ADA spaces.

     

    Check out our FB page - www.facebook.com/madronewall

     

    Thanks again!

    Kellie

     


  24. Hello Everyone,

     

    Whether you are active on Facebook-land or not, I thought I would post another update here. Keith and I have been working with a Fish and Wildlife Raptor Specialist on monitoring the peregrine falcons out at the Madrone. We've been out there 5 times total since early March, and we have at least a few more visits planned in May.

     

    Some simple history: Keith and I heard them for the first time in the spring of 2010 while we were out there with some folks from the County. There is no data on whether the peregrines have ever had a successful eyrie (produced any offspring). As far as we know from County Parks observations, our observations, and two observations from the Audubon Society, the peregrines were not out there before 2009. The historical nesting site is an obvious site in the center of the wall and the area is seen from the parking lot.

     

     

    As of this weekend (April 22nd), we have not been able to observe any behavior that would indicate that the peregrines are incubating (sitting on eggs), or that one of the birds (most likely the male) is bringing food to the female where they are nesting. We have observed peregrines out there at each visit and at least one of the falcons has been observed in the area (flying, briefly in the nest (eyrie), and in a nearby tree).

     

    The site continues to remain closed to any kind of recreational access until this summer. The County is planning on a July opening date, but an exact date has not yet been determined. Keith and I are meeting with the County on May 10th to discuss the status of the peregrines, some finalized engineering plans, landscape issues, and other last minute needs.

     

    If you have any interest in helping Keith or I observe the peregrines (no experience necessary), and you have binoculars or a scope, please contact me here.

     

    Thank you for continuing to respect the closure. July isn't that far off, so hang on for a little longer.

     

    Kellie Rice

    President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee

    www.facebook.com/madronewall

     

     

     

     

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