View from the Board

August 2018    -  Mark Delwiche

The Peregrine Falcon Webcam

Regular visitors to the Camas NWR or to our Webpage will remember that for the last 2 summers we have had a webcam on a wooden tower that peregrine falcons have been using since the 1980’s as a nesting platform.  Those visitors will also remember that the webcam has been on again, off again.  It was on this year for about 3 weeks, 2 of which it was available for viewing on YouTube.  Here is a brief account of our difficulties and about the falcons who spent the summer (without the prying eye of the camera) on the tower.  

Our webcam has a challenging connection to the internet; it goes through 3 wireless links: from the tower to the Headquarters residence, from there to a relay station at a farm on the other side of the interstate, and then to Dubois before it connects to the Mud Lake Telephone fiber optics main-line.   Even when our hardware is working well, the signal to the internet can be tenuous.  This year after relearning the right hoops to jump through to connect online, we had a good link for a few weeks before it became unstable and finally quit.  With the help of the Mud Lake Telephone lineman and a Friends of Camas electronics engineer we managed to verify the camera was still functional, but we could not maintain a signal.  By April 22 it became clear that for a permanent fix we would need to access the tower transceiver.  But the tower is strictly off limits while the falcons are here, often as late as the end of October.  By mid-November should have everything ready for spring.

The good news is the falcons successfully fledged one chick this year.  By March 28 at least one falcon was present and showed obvious interest in the back right corner of the nest box.  On April 23, the day after the camera quit, the falcon was spotted circling above the tower with what looked like a male peregrine (a “tercel”).  A Fish and Game biologist who monitored the nest through the summer sent us the attached photograph July 11.  In the photograph, you can see a falcon standing on the cross-arm below the nest platform.  If you look closely you can see the head of another adult standing behind a squarish piece of basalt placed to the left of the nest box.  And on the right side inside the nest box is a large downy 20-day old chick with its head tucked in.  Just above the chick notice the camera in a little frame, and below the chick, at the bottom of the photo, you can see the wireless dish aimed at Headquarters. 

On July 31 three observers, myself included, watched the chick fly around a little and light on a fencepost briefly before returning to the tower to devour lunch, provided by one of the parents, of a sizable looking fresh kill (bird or rabbit? we couldn’t tell).  We were delighted!

Check back here next April.  With some tinkering and a little luck, we’ll have a link to next year’s live action.  


To view the previous View from the Board, click here.

What's New - 2018

Join in the Fun!

The Birds, Bugles & Brunch activity is scheduled for September 22nd, from 8:00 AM to Noon.  This is a free public event appropriate for the whole family with hay rides, bird walks and make and take crafts.  This year there will be a memorial program at 9:30 honoring Nancy Maxwell and John Braastad.  

For more information and RSVP for brunch contact the Friends of Camas Board at friendsofcamas@gmail.com.   

Peregrine Webcam is up for 2018!

Friends of Camas is hosting
the 2nd annual photo contest. 
Click on the image below
for more information.

Photo: First Place 2017 by Sue Braastad

Click here for more information
and for the entry form.

Fred Meyer Rewards Program

You can help Friends of Camas NWR earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred Meyer  donates over $2 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Friends of Camas NWR at:  www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards

  • You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 85837.

  • Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Friends of Camas NWR earn a donation.

  • The great thing is that YOU still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points and Rebates, just as you do today.

  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Custome Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

For more information, please visit www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards 

Refuge Notes

June 21, 2018

After an early start to flows in Camas Creek I find it amazing that we are still receiving water into the Refuge to date.  Spring rains have kept the ground moist enough to allow runoff and that has been fantastic.  All major Refuge wetlands still have water in them and are looking good.

It is that time of the year when new life is all around.  Many of our nesting bird species can be found with newly hatched broods.  A drive around the marsh will allow you to see many of these sites.  The Canada geese may already look half grown by now, but most to the ducks and grebes are recent additions.

In addition, deer fawns and elk calves are also new to the area this time of year, so pay attention when you see an adult female as there is a good chance a young one is close by.

The Friends of Camas continue to improve upon the pollinator garden around the office and there are plenty of colorful plants providing a nice view.  When you visit the Refuge stop by and check it out and look for butterflies, especially in the afternoon.  There are also some bird feeders in the garden and they are being frequented by mourning doves, black-headed grosbeaks, gold finches, lazuli buntings and some magpies.

Camas Refuge is also hosting the Xerces Society event about Monarch butterflies on Saturday June 30.  The workshop is family orientated and wants to promote citizen science.  If you would like to know more feel free to call the Refuge Office at (208) 662-5423.

Plenty of wildlife to see at the Refuge and a nice weather morning is a perfect time to make the trip.  All the rain and water has produced plenty of hungry insects like mosquitoes so be prepared with bug spray if you need it.

Brian Wehausen, Refuge Manager

To view previous Refuge Notes,
click here.


Contact

E-mail
camasfriends@gmail.com

Phone
208-662-5423

Address
Friends of Camas NWR Inc. 
2150 E 2350 N
Hamer, ID 83425