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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

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2006 Field Season-March update

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Greetings from South Texas!

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2006 Field Season

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

We’ve accomplished a lot since the last update, so here is a quick summary to get everyone up to
speed:

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2004 Final Notes

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

As our last hacked Aplomado Falcon reached independence, the 2004 Aplomado field season officially ended. Since January the team worked hard to make 2004 the most successful Aplomado field season in the project’s history. The evidence of this success is reflected in the following numbers. For example, 32 of our “territorial pairs” pairs attempted to nest this year (21 Laguna/Brownsville and 11 Matagorda.) Three “territorial” pairs never attempted to nest and a fourth pair went missing at egg-laying time, never to resurface. Twenty of the “territorial” pairs successfully produced young, while 12 failed during incubating/chick brooding. Only two pairs (who failed) recycled in different nests. Out of the 32 territorial pairs, 54 wild Aplomado Falcons were produced and fledged into the wild (31 around Laguna Atascosa/Brownsville area and 23 on Matagorda Island).

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2004 Field Season Update #2

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

To date we’ve fledged 48 young from wild nests (26 around the Laguna Atascosa/Brownsville area and 20 on Matagorda Island). Thirty-two of our “territorial pairs” attempted to nest this year (21 Laguna/Brownsville and 11 Matagorda.) Three “territorial” pairs never attempted to nest, while a fourth pair went missing at egg-laying time, never to resurface. Twenty of the “territorial” pairs successfully produced young, while 12 failed during incubating/chick brooding. So far only two pairs (who failed) recycled in different nests. Here is how our different nests produced:

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2004 Field Season Update

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Since the last update the Aplomado Team has been busy reading bands, observing pairs, and locating active nests in South Texas. To date we observed 81 individual Aplomado Falcons between Matagorda Island NWR and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The team has collectively read 68 Aplomado identification bands from 38 pairs and seven non-paired Aplomado Falcons (with nine un-banded falcons within the population). So far 29 Aplomado pairs are incubating eggs in a variety of natural and human-made nests. The big news is 15 of our falcon pairs are nesting in our artificial nest boxes.

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The 2003 Aplomado Hack Season Comes to an End

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

As our last Aplomado Falcon reaches independence, the 2003 hack season comes to an end.  Through hard work and diligence the 2003 season was a great success.  In south Texas 28 of the 32 (88%) young Aplomado Falcons released made it to independence, while west Texas successfully fledged 36 of their 48 (75%) falcons.  In total The Peregrine Fund enhanced the Northern Aplomado population with 64 falcons released from five locations (South Padre Island, Laguna Atascosa NWR, the Means Ranch, Miller Ranch, and McKnight Ranch.)  As always the numbers reflect the dedication of the Aplomado field team and hack site attendants. 

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The 2003 Aplomado Hack Season

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Once again time has flown by in a flurry of activity. Over the past couple of months the Aplomado team has been hard at work surveying new potential habitat, keeping track of breeding pairs, banding wild nestlings, documenting fledging success and starting up the 2003 hack season.

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Preparing for the 2003 Aplomado Hack Season

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

With the return of the Peregrine Fund’s Aplomado Falcon field team to Texas in January the season officially began.  The team this year consists of Brian Mutch, Angel Montoya, Paul Juergens, Jessi Brown, and Erin Gott.

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The 2002 Aplomado Hack Season

Erin Gott — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

As the dog days of summer bring the Aplomado Falcon team closer to the end of hack season, it is difficult not to reflect on the past two months with sentiment and pride.  Over the past eight weeks the team acted as guardians to more than 100 juvenile Aplomado Falcons.  During this time we experienced a spectrum of emotion—from joy, when witnessing our falcons' first flights, to despair, when discovering a falcon dead from natural predation.   But as the summer nears its end and our Aplomado Falcons gain greater confidence in their skills, we understand the project's big picture. The birds that survive will help supplement the wild population of the Northern Aplomado Falcon. This goal, combined with the dynamic presence of the falcons, is what gives us  strength to tolerate the endless hours in tough field conditions.  In fact, one of the most challenging aspects of our job is to trouble shoot problems that arise at each hack site.

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