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elaine

Peregrine chicks out at the Madrone

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Even though the Madrone Wall is still not open to any kind of recreation, they spotted at least 3 chicks ( possibly 5) out there over the weekend. It was the presence of the adult falcons out there on Thursday of last week that cancelled the trail-building party on Sunday. Clackamas County will have someone go in and see how old they are. The age of the successful eyrie right now will determine if the June event will still take place.

 

There is talk of a monitoring program out there, but that will be awhile.

 

More to come soon.

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Who is the 'they' that spotted the chicks?

 

That there are chicks out there means the Beacon Peregrines are about where I've been thinking they probably were relative to having hatched out. Bodes well for an early open if the pairs are in relative sync in both places. Will be interesting to see how this plays out and if they fledge at approximately the same time.

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Probably a quick call to Tonia Burns, the Natural Resources Coordinator for Clackamas County Parks will answer your questions Joseph. I think she's keeping her finger on this pulse. Office- (503)742-4357 or email address is tburns@co.clackamas.or.us

 

She seemed pretty approachable. Good luck.

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There is talk of a monitoring program out there, but that will be awhile.

 

I was joking in the CRG forum the other day, but maybe i was unwittingly prophesizing the future of madrone, eh? :lmao:

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The thing needs to get sussed out some more as substantial amounts of people have been climbing there for the last year (not me, not once) and it didn't slow these Peregrines down or worry them from apparently laying and raising a successful brood.

 

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Joseph and others-

 

The Natural Resources gal, Tonia, spotted them with another Clackamas Co official. That's who "they" is.

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That'll be a lot of speculative sussing - define 'significant' in a way that any agency official would take as credible. Climber's opinions and perceptions of what's acceptable to the Peregrines never have and never will carry any weight due to the history and clear bias involved.

 

Now if you had the nest location, real traffic numbers and route specifics, and a couple of nesting seasons under your belt you could maybe build a case for it. Beyond that it's all just the same cry of persecution and government injustice that's entirely wasted on anyone who could actually change things.

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Climber's opinions and perceptions of what's acceptable to the Peregrines never have and never will carry any weight due to the history and clear bias involved.

and yet you continue to put sooo much time into observing peregrines... you're no gov't official, joe, so what makes you think that you have any impact yourself? just askin...

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Well, I go climbing at Beacon in June, 4 years out of 5. Personally I'm not willing to leave it entirely in the government's hands whether I get to do so or not with no say at all in the matter. As opposed to you, of course, who is completely happy to leave it to the guberment to decide the matter - but hey, no suprise there, I'm sure you don't want to rock the boat (or paycheck) at WDFW.

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Joseph and others-

 

The Natural Resources gal, Tonia, spotted them with another Clackamas Co official. That's who "they" is.

Thanks...

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No need to jump to conclusions. Suss = looked into, studied and examined. I find it curious that this tiny place, which has been continuously having fairly heavy climber traffic, has apparently had a successful brood hatched. Doesn't that prick your curiosity meter? It does mine.

 

It could be that the Peregrines are a substantial distance away, or that they are on a 5.12 climb that no one climbs, or this or that: it could be a lot of things we don't know yet. Or it could just be that as many climbers have been noting for years, Peregrines really can tolerate a lot of climber/Peregrine interaction. Who can say until it's examined? I'm not telling you to do it. I'm not telling LCK to do it, I'm not even suggesting I'm doing it and Au Contrair, I'm not even complaining or whining. I just find it interesting and think this apparently successful close climber/Peregrine interaction, if it truly has been existing, should be studied further by someone.

That's what I meant. So long.

thatsalllogo.gif

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continuously having fairly heavy climber traffic

 

Wouldn't that be speculation that could be taken as an overstatement of the traffic Madrone sees? Seems like Elaine and the County would be responding more strongly with the community if that were really the case.

 

Monitoring is good. I'm booked and not interested, LCK isn't interested beyond bitch fodder, but some of you who care about Madrone should probably pick that up as it's unlikely any agency is going to assign anyone to do it at a level that would result in any real data.

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Maybe some background info that folks didn't know on this peregrine stuff out at the Madrone...( and Smith, too)

 

Two peregrine studies/surveys/observations were done by Bob Sallinger ( Audobon Soc). One was in 1998 and the other was in 2006. No evidence peregrines ( no swath at the top of a cliff, no poop, nothing) was found. We heard and saw them last Spring when Keith organized a wildflower tour. They obviously seem to be back again this year.

 

On a different note, but interesting nonetheless, peregrines closed the upper portions of the Picnic Lunch Wall at Smith last year. You could do single pitch climbing only. No peregrines out there this year. In fact, no Golden Eagle chicks either. This is the first year in about 20 years that the Golden Eagles have not mated. They often close the Monument Area. The female keeps up almost 12 nests in and around Smith and the adjacent BLM land. They have not seen her in some time and fear that she might be dead. All of the Golden Eagle info was provided by the SRSP Rangers and Raptor volunteers at the clean up two weekends ago.

 

So maybe the Peregrines will ( hopefully) move on from the Madrone. There are plenty of chossy cliffs in Clackamas County that they can take residence on.

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No need to jump to conclusions. Suss = looked into, studied and examined. I find it curious that this tiny place, which has been continuously having fairly heavy climber traffic, has apparently had a successful brood hatched. Doesn't that prick your curiousity meter? It does mine.

 

It could be that the Peregrines are a half mile away, it could be a lot of things we don't know yet. It could be that Peregrines can tolerate a lot of climber/Peregrine interactions. Who can say until it's examined? I'm not telling you to do it. I'm not telling LCK to do it, I'm not even suggesting I'm doing it and Au Contrair, I'm not even complaining or whining. I just find it interesting and think this apparently successful close climber/Peregrine interaction, if it truly has been existing, should be studied further. If it's going to be a public park, then of course, this will see some of this examined.

 

We as climbers have a responsibility to avoid disturbing these birds in any way. They are protected under federal laws and those laws cover any sort of disturbance. Climbing anywhere near a nest is not just an asshole thing to do, it is illegal. You are probably right that these peregrines have adapted quite well to humans near the nest, but this could just be luck. These birds often will leave the nest if there is a threat or disturbance. If you go climbing at the wrong time (when there are eggs, or when the birds are very young) the parents leaving the nest which can cause the eggs or chicks to die.

 

The closures are there for a reason. The peregrine in particular has been studied about as much as you can study a bird.

 

I am currently working with the WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife on Golden Eagle research. Climbers have had an impact on golden eagles in both washington and Oregon. When a climber gets near the nest the parents leave. They sit a long way from the nest and wait till you are gone. If you are not aware that there is a nest close to you and climb all day that nest could very easily fail. I was at two eagle nest sites earlier this year and as soon as I got to the nest the mother bird left and I never saw her again. She was across the valley watching us. The Fish and wildlife folks do not have the budget to find all the bird nests and monitor them. If you see a nest go somewhere else. We are not going to get the state to hire more biologists they are just going to do blanket closures unless we regulate ourselves.

 

Oh and if you want to see some photos of some eagle chicks I have some on my blog:

 

http://alasdairturner.blogspot.com/2010/05/second-trip-to-eagles-nest.html

 

http://alasdairturner.blogspot.com/2010/05/yesterday-i-went-out-to-yakima-area-to.html

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So we as tax payers get to pay people to "do research" on Golden Eagles and its ok for them and WDFW to disturb the birds, but its not ok for climbers who would not purposely climb to a nest to climb in the area near them. Very strange times we live in. What the heck is there left to "study" anymore we didn't know 30 years ago?

I really find it intersting Alasdair you lecturing us "climbers" about the responsibility we have to avoid disturbing these birds while in the same breath you talk about how you disturb multiple nests as part of a WDFW project.

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First off I am volunteering my time. I have been at the nest twice total, and both were very short duration. In addition the visits were timed to be during a period that would not cause a major issue to the birds.

 

A climber near a nest for one pitch would cause much more problem than the time I was there.

 

As far as me lecturing you climbers goes, I would bet I do a hell of a lot more climbing than you. I am just trying to make sure that the areas I enjoy spending my time at dont get blanket closures.

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with respect to the impact that climbers have on a nest or scrape or what ever we are calling the site of avian procreation on a cliff, it is my feeling that an accidental, once-in-a-season-, or once-every-two-season-meeting between a climber and a nesting cliff-dwelling bird would have small effects on the bird - so long as that meeting wasn't repeated. the bird is able to adapt to changes in its environment, and subtle disturbances, while possibly detrimental to the adult's clutch, may not actually cause the bird to do anything more than squawk a bunch at the intruder. but then again it could (in a worst case scenario) abandon the nest. still, there is more that needs to be understood about the interaction between climbers and these birds before any judgement is made - future grad student climbers, that was your cue for a great thesis! :)

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Hi Alasdair

I guess I don't see a big difference between a "government employee" visiting a raptor nest and a climber. A climber would try to stay away from the nest while it seems your interest was in getting close and photographing it. I don't mean to come down on you, but it seems hypocritical of us to forbid one user group but allow another. I can appreciate your efforts to stop blanket closures, so if that is the results of your efforts, I support it. and on that bet you offered, you'd loose.

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if and when folks get to see madrone up close and personal - or when the wildlife folks get close and search for nests - they are going to find chalk all over the cliff that clearly is not left over from 1999. and if they also conclude that the birds are thriving despite obvious and regular climber presence, i would hope that - as bill coe suggests - they connect the dots and revisit whether climber presence actually harms the birds as much as they think.

 

but if the evidence at madrone is ignored because it undermines existing closures elsewhere, it might be easy to conclude that the wildlife experts perhaps do have a bias against climber-bird interaction and are not interested in learning whether the two can co-exist. i sure hope that's not the case because most climbers rightfully respect wildlife closures precisely because they believe they are truly necessary.

 

 

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if and when folks get to see madrone up close and personal - or when the wildlife folks get close and search for nests - they are going to find chalk all over the cliff that clearly is not left over from 1999. and if they also conclude that the birds are thriving despite obvious and regular climber presence, i would hope that - as bill coe suggests - they connect the dots and revisit whether climber presence actually harms the birds as much as they think.

 

but if the evidence at madrone is ignored because it undermines existing closures elsewhere, it might be easy to conclude that the wildlife experts perhaps do have a bias against climber-bird interaction and are not interested in learning whether the two can co-exist. i sure hope that's not the case because most climbers rightfully respect wildlife closures precisely because they believe they are truly necessary.

 

well said, bryan :tup:

though, i respect the wildlife closure at beacon not because i find it truly necessary, but because i'd rather not be slapped with a trespassing charge. the necessity for a six-month closure at beacon (and i suppose, now, at madrone, too, if they ever get it open) is still debatable - a three-month closure might be enough...

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A climber near a nest for one pitch would cause much more problem than the time I was there.

 

 

What about hundreds of thousands of hiking tourists near the nest? How come that does not bother the birds? Why do ONLY CLIMBERS GET THE SHAFT on this one? I am talking about the Beacon closure obviously.....

 

I agree with most of what you say about giving the birds a lot of space....but this particular closure is very one sided. The smallest user group (by far) at Beacon gets picked on.

 

Elaine pointed out that the Picknick lunch wall had closures last year because of the birds. You could still climb single pitches. Please tell me why the entire south face and the SE corner of Beacon has to be totally closed to climbing when the birds nest 300 feet off the ground on the upper south west corner.....right near the hiking trail.

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What about hundreds of thousands of hiking tourists near the nest? How come that does not bother the birds? Why do ONLY CLIMBERS GET THE SHAFT on this one? I am talking about the Beacon closure obviously.....

 

I agree with most of what you say about giving the birds a lot of space....but this particular closure is very one sided. The smallest user group (by far) at Beacon gets picked on.

:battlecage: here the gloves for ya, kev. i have to sit this round out :tired:

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Chalk left from climbers merely means the routes have been climbed. I think what you guys all eternally hope for is some acknowledgement that climber disturbances DON'T ALWAYS result in abandoned nests. But I'm pretty sure raptor biologists would agree with you on that point today.

 

The problem is that climber disturbances do always stress the birds whether they abandon the nest or not. The reason for the closures is to eliminate that particular class of human stressors. What you are essentially asking / hoping for is for raptor biologists to 'gamble' with the level of stress to some degree short of full closures which preclude it altogether.

 

And they do that many times, with closures that go 'from this route to that route' - but, that only applies to much larger cliffs faces / structures / groups than Madrone or the South Face of Beacon which are both well within typical minimum closure recommendations / sizes.

 

The problem is, unfortunately, we live in a place with small local crags as opposed to somewhere like Gunks, Bend, Boulder, or Chattanooga where there are still other open sections or walls during the closures. It's a bummer, but to be honest I just don't think biologists are inclined to that kind of gambling on small crags.

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