elaine Posted April 1, 2018 Share Posted April 1, 2018 (edited) 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 Edited June 4, 2018 by elaine added more info about da birds...and why the Madrone doesn't have partial closures Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.