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Interview :04 - 2:03:40 Play :04 - More
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Bill Seegar  

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Peregrine Falcon  

Peregrine Falcon -- Falco peregrinus 22:12 - 22:19 Play 22:12 - More
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1 Immature Male  

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In hand  

Peregrine Falcon -- Falco peregrinus 55:22 - 55:25 Play 55:22 - More
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Wingbeats  

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1 Immature Female  

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depart

flight sound

mechanical sound

mechanical sound

mechanical sound

mechanical sound

mechanical sound

 

In hand  

Peregrine Falcon -- Falco peregrinus 55:22 - 55:25 Play 55:22 - More
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Wingbeats  

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1 Immature Female  

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depart

mechanical sound

flight sound

 

In hand  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
7 Oct 1996

    Geography
  • United States
    Virginia
    Accomack County
    Locality
  • Assateague Island; Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge; Wash Flats
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 37.96333   -75.29667
    Habitats
  • Marine Shoreline
    Features
  • Beach
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=2: 1=L, 2=R; Stereo

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Falcons Log of DAT 3

[VG=Very good]
[G=Good]
[NVG=Not very good]

JD = Jim Dayton
BS = Bill Seegar
AC = Alex Chadwick

NG through 12:00 -hanging out, eating lunch, waiting for birds/
OK 12:01 -12:50 moving in a truck
12:13 JD (?) I got it! BS (?) I saw it!
12:51 BS (?) Good eye Carolyn! She just pointed it out... !
13:08 BS -We can really get fouled up by a couple of birds. Just one or two birds we have already caught can absolutely run us ragged. 13:20 fouling up every opportunity to catch a new bird.
13:33 -13:43 bg in car?
13: 44 BS (?) let's try to get clear of that
14:06 BS (?) I think it's got it right in the middle, which is really difficult to figure out what is going on -we can't see him.
14:11 -14:49 driving in car
14:51 BS (?) It is hiding in seaside goldenrod...hopefully it doesn't resemble that goldenrod
15:03 You got another one? AC -hum, I don't know.
15:45 BS -This is going to be tough, because there is no room to work this bird... it's in the bushes, as it were 15:55
16:05 BS -there is one banded bird, by us
16:10 -16:27 in car, moving slowly, crickets in bg
16:28 BS -Found a light colored passage falcon, and it is (??) a female
16:36 JD -Did you call this one yet? BS -No, I haven't

16:40 JD (?) Now
16:41 BS Now, I have a clean passage falcon at 12:10 (****faint cooing in bg), midwatch flats, picked out by Carolyn (cooing in bg) nice eye. Come on birdy.
17:01 -17:15 moving in car slowly (?) some cooing in bg
17;16 (VERY FAINT) Where is the string pull? .. I think I had this one on a string pole
JD -That means we have .... (mumbling -can't understand) half way btwn here and the water
17:34 BS -Let's take this bird for a ride JD -???got it tangled up??? BS -Well, maybe she got it in straight
17:43 JD -see it laying over the ??? BS -yeah, I know
17:49 BS -Let's see what we can do here. It's one of these really frightened birds you can tell (cooing in bg 0 but faint)
18:04 AC -what would happen if Linda were to get off and approach that bird?
BS -It would take off, just disappear -well, maybe not disappear, but it would just bolt.
18:24 Carolyn -she is hungry -BS -yeah. she is
18:34 -we will gt some good acoustical stuff when we catch her ¬lot of wind banging and stuff
18:51 -BS -let's noose it first
18:53 creeping up on her (in car??)
19:44 fx -beeping -a clock? setting a timer?, and deep breathing, beeps get faster
20:29 -getting out of car to "get her"
20:33 -20:34 walking on grass, to bird, crickets in bg
20:35 BS (?) all right -go ahead!
*20:36 fluttering of bird? being captured - 20:44 ?? Ok.
20:47 BS (?) immature male.
20:48 -20:54 outside ambi -crickets in bg
20:54 BS -immature male, under???? -typical looking bird, but it's got a light head...golden edges through the feathers on the back, which are not entirely common.... 21:18 nice blue feet ...that -ouch! -that have my thumb.... and kind of a light blue sear. Sometimes the feet are real yellow, and this bird is a real pretty little bird, I'd say it is about 550 grams. 21:35
21:40 -22:13 very faint ambi -crickets in bg, opening of car door
22:14-22:18 faint chirping? of falcon?
22:19 BS -OUCH! Did you get that? they don't like to make noise [it nipped yah ]
22:34 BS -Ok.
22:44 BS -Ok. We catch a passage tercel (?) and we will band it (sound of chain moving around) 22:54 2-2-0-6-1-8-2-7-1....you are not going to get me again buddy...you get one chance for my finger (sound of chain moving around)
23:19 BS -there have been a bunch of these immatures coming in now. usually what we see is adult females commonly in good number is the beginning of the migration followed by immature males. and then you get a large number of immature females. now statistically we have never been able to positively prove that the immature males and females don't show up at the same time. we usually see adults first followed by the immatures. and we have been seeing a lot of immatures now. so i think we are into the main part of the migration now. 23:56
G 23:58 -24:07 faint cooing
24:08 slamming down of chain (?)
24:10 BS -and we will put some -a big gasset (?) on this bird. Carolyn you want to give me a hand?
CJ -I wouldn't mind getting away from there...
24:22 BS -oh. ok
24:27 -ambi -bg
24:33 BS (?) -(very faintly) I'll get the birds head and you...head....down... {very faint)
24:45 -BS (?) -now you have a -now get it right on
24:49 -BS -yeah....now under the chin, and be careful around the eyes, right there on that white spot -that's a good spot because it's very conspicuous 25:01 -now??? we paint the sides, and the breast a little bit, on that patch right there
25:15 BS -now that way we will be able to identify this bird again, and not waste time trying to capture him and ring _~ him... 25:28 Thank ¥OU. Ok. Here you go -you saw it, and you can let it go -all you got to do is hold him just like that -he is not going to hurt you, trust me. he is just happy as ever now. now if you toss him up into the wind -they lik7 ~go up into the wind -just toss him right up -there you go!
26:05 BS -that is a rouse (?). now h is checking his jewelry see him look over at it. he says wow -lots of jewelry 26;14
26:19 BS -the rouse is a shaking motion that straightens their feathers. having held him for just a min or two we probably mussed up his feather and they rouse and straighten them. almost every bird you release like that will rouse in the air within just a few seconds of release in the air. now he has probably completely forgotten what happened to him now and he is going to chase some shorebirds now. 26:46
26:47 -27:05 walking in grass
27:06 BS -I need a banana
OK ¬
27:38 BS -[in car) ... a number of years at Hopkins throughout the eighties and now he is in private industry sort of manufacturing the smallest transmitters that are available for tracking birds...27:54
27:55 ambi -in car
28:07 BS -I have known Paul for a long time. I met him back in the late seventies, in fact he and I sort of got the idea to develop some of the satellite telemetry and found ourselves in the early eighties to follow through on that which we did for about 8 or 9 years. 28:28
!
28:29 -28:36 car ambi
28:37 BS -Paul is English. He came over from England in I think '83
28:43 -JO -there to your left -in the vegetation... in about
9:00
29:06 BS -You see one yet Charlie?
29:24 car ambi
29:50 car ambi (from inside car)
30:06 AC -with the data that you get from a satellite pass and the recovery rate of bands, why do you bother to band any more at all?
30:21 BS -Well, that is a good question. Banding is the basic minimum effort to keep track of things. We get a lot of information back from bands that you don't necessarily get from satellite telemetry because we can ban a lot more birds than we can put satellite transmitters on... and we are out here [JO -bands are incredibly cheap -] yeah, the bands are inexpensive, we've got this going on here -..... ah-some instances the sat. telemetry will tell us a lot of things that the bands will. bands for example can be used to do a variety of other studies too. i think you can look at the age of band returns and get age population dynamics information, etc. etc,. if you can get enough data -since the bands stay on the birds forever, these transmitters may not. The sat. telemetry is a really invasive tool. it just really gives you tremendous amount of info about that organism and where it goes, and what it is doing in a bare dynamic sense. 32:00
32:00 -32:07
32:08 AC -how common is it for you to find a bird here that has someone else's band on?
32:12 BS: well, out of a hundred birds if we catch ever hundred, we might catch 4 or 5 birds that have been previously banded. i think this year how many have we caught? we have caught a couple of previously banded by us in Greenland, a few birds on the east that were banded. these are good pieces of information because the birds are captured here, and we can find out where the bands were put on, and they are 2 good pieces of information releases unharmed -carried on in the migration and the population....
33:18 BS -a lot of these birds we -birds we banded before here and in Texas have turned up in our study areas in Greenland. Because we have little bands on them we were able to determine that we had handled the birds before and we knew in some instances how old they were because we had caught them as immatures, and when we caught them breeding as adults we couldn't tell how old they were other than the band that -were it not for the band we put on. so, you know, the more intensely you study a species like a peregrine actually the more meaningful the bands become because you have much greater opportunity recovering birds that have been previously banded. 34:03
34:19 -34:32 inside car ambi, bumpy ride ¬
34:41 BS -that is all that is left.
34:50 BS -[SLAM of car door] not much!
35:30 AC -the size of that pigeon in proportion to that falcon ¬that is a hell of a meal
35:35 -BS -The bird has a capacity to put on a lot of -to put a lot of food in its stomach. I think its a boom or bust kind of deal with an animal like a peregrine. it has a crop that can expand and can hold a good deal of food, which it can put over into the gizzard and the -and digest. it has the capability of storing a lot of food like that -not storing, but holding it ¬that will all be digested probably by mid-day tomorrow. and that falcon will then start hunting around for something else to eat.
36:15
36:16 -36:34 inside car ambi
36:39 BS -we'll look around in the south wash flats and then we will just drive out the north gate and down to the coast guard station -ok?
36:54 -ambi in car
37:32 BS -what is that?
38:53 car stops
39:05 -BS -right out there -I am going to need the 'scope i think.....
ambi -car moving through wet sand (?) water?
40:09 -BS -is it heading out? [JD -just about to get up -it is at the woods it just went up to the sky line -yah]
40:28 -BS -yes or no? [JD -going] Going our way or North? [JD -going, went down, went down] In or out? [JD -out...up now]
Where? [JD -right over the ..... ] she is behind us. this is not a good place to be
40:55 BS -i see it. i don't know whether we can 41:05 -down in this corner [ambi -in cr, moving faster -JD -I think it is back far out over the bay (?) BS -I see it, I see it
**41:28 good ambi -or car door opening up and wheels going through wet sand
41:51 BS (?) GET DOWN ON THE DECK IN HERE!
42:00 BS: It is going after the first pigeon! Yeah! Well, what do you think attracted her to the first pigeon? -the yellow bird probably -yeah, well, probably you are right. But there is certainly other falcon up there
42:23 ?? -she saw another falcon go in on the first set, now there is 2 there -i got even money that says that the first one is yellow
43:34 BS -we are in the process of acquiring another yellow falcon
45:01 BS -caught an immature female ...that was trying to take the ....decoy from another bird that we have already caught...and got caught in the process. hardly ever works like that....to me that's the
47:05 BS -catch of an immature female ...we are going to band this one....1808140528 ... i think we are at the end of the immature females ...they are really pushing through now... ok, get this band on...this one could conceivably be a candidate for a satellite transmitter...when Paul gets here we will talk about one of these immature females for ?? for transmitters. we have never put any satellite transmitters on immatures
48:13 fx -knocking on ???
48:18 BS -alright, let's paint this bird Jim.
48:45 AC -...about the birds that you have caught today....how do you characterize these birds?
48:52 BS -these are...we are seeing immature females moving....that usually constitutes the bulk of the birds that we see. and when they start to move we are into the center of the migration, in sort of the peak fly for the birds. the adults come first usually, and they we see immature males a lot, and then the immature female. and we are seeing a lot of them now. these are typical tundra birds coming out of the arctic on their way to Latin America -or perhaps points around here.
49:28 AC -One of things that is remarkable around this is that when you run out to catch the bird at first it flaps its wings but it is so calm. as soon as you brought it back here, it really appears to be at rest. it is very very watchful.
49:47 BS -it is just a very typical personality of the peregrine falcon. they are very docile, very calm birds by nature. people -you know -that have been interested in training and flying the falcons for thousands of years and the peregrine, throughout man's history, with the peregrine, has been known one of the most docile, even-tempered birds of prey, and that is why they make such great hunting falcons in the sport of falconry, because of their tremendous personality and their great calmness.
50:28 AC -this bird here has no band, so it has never been captured before [bs -never] you have been holding this one for a couple of minutes [bs -right] and it is not struggling, it doesn't appear frantic or anything -
BS -no. it's just very accepting of the circumstance. i am sure it is probably scared. if you could arrange to put jess (?) on this bird and hold it on your fist it would be wild, it would flap, it would try and escape from you. eventually it would try to sit on your fist, and probably in a short period of time, if you fed it a few times, it would get very tame within a week to two. where as with other birds of prey have a much wilder nature to 'em. but these birds have never seen people, this is a whole new encounter for them and once we release this bird it will probably very quickly forget about this whole episode. we catch birds up in the arctic on noose-gins (?) when they are incubating their young, and we can catch them on a gin and put bands on them, take blood from them, and hold them as long an hour -hour and a half while we study very aspects of the bird, and then release it and it flies straight up to the nest straightens his feathers and rouses, and walks right in and sits right on the eggs like nothing ever happened. other species will get very upset being handled. the zenith of evolution, i think, in the avian kingdom, as far as the powers of flight, this bird is capable of flight well beyond most other birds in regard to its speed and endurance. and the tundra bird is a really outstanding example because it undertakes an enormous migration from the arctic into the neo-tropics, down as far south as southern Argentina in many instances. 52:49
52:50 AC -... this bird could migrate from Greenland down to southern Argentina.
BS -oh, absolutely. yes they do. and they will do it -they will leave the arctic in September -early October, and they will be down on their wintering grounds by December. but they can
move across the us -adults can move across the ~s in 4 or 5 days ! -6 days, making anywhere from 400 to 600 miles a day. this is ,information we have gotten from satellite telemetry off the \birds. 53:22
AC -how does a bird like this -i mean this is a 2 lb wild animal -how can it move that far that fast. how can it consume enough energy, enough fuel to keep going like that?
53:37 BS -well you know these are the key issues...what you just brought up -about the migration of these birds, and what we are really interested in studying. i mean there are several things which are critical to sustain the flight on a long migration for a bird like this. they need places to move into on the fly¬-aways, where they can feed themselves, in a safe habitat where lots of prey exist. these birds feed themselves on migration over land or at sea. they are capable of catching birds in the air and eating them. so if they are blown off the coast and they are migrating down over the ocean they can take advantage of birds in the air that are moving with them, catch them and eat them while they are flying. but they come into these pristine remote areas along our eastern coastal zone looking for habitat that is very similar to the kinds of things that they are looking to predate -various ?? that are moving, or indigenous species that they can find. or a lot of the shore birds that they travel with during migration. so they need to feed everyday, they need to find good habitat and prey species to do that and our interest is in identifying these critical migratory stop-overs for not only the peregrine, but the prey that peregrine. and i am trying to conserve and preserve these areas so that we can maintain these birds in perpetuity.. 55:04
55:14 BS -we can let this one go, and carryon and maybe make a contribution to the gene pool in a couple of years
***VG 55:22 FX -tree swallow??? taking off from BS hands (?)
bg ambi -crickets (faint) people moving around, opening up car door
NG 57:00 -58:57 bg ambi -
OK 59:00 ambi -in car, beeping sound,
1:00:00 -in car -bg ambi, moving along bumpy road
**1:02:22-1:03:03 .... in car -BS -I am seeing it! ¬
1:03:33 BS -that's probably our bird! .... it is running with crows -it is trying to hide in a a flock of crows...
1:08:00 BS -we have an unidentified peregrine in northwest flats at 13:00
1:10:25 -ambi -car going through wet sandy area(?)
BS -truck is in a rut
1:11:44 -ambi -truck driving through muddy area
1:12:50-1:18:12 -ambi -car moving faster through wet area (different sound)
1:19:49 -1:24:23 ambi -gentle breeze, birds chirping, crickets -all faint, but ok **1:23:20
1:28:11 BS -with the weather running the way it is we could catch 50 birds in the next 4 days .....we are not hitting as high as we could...the winds are very unforgiving when they are out of the north east -it is very difficult to get the birds down and get them to where you can work with them, because they are moving quick -and you've got just a second or two to attract their attention, and if you don't get it perfectly they are gone. on the other hand a lot of these birds are pretty keen right now because they have been flying quite a bit with this last cold front coming in.
1:32:33 BS -alright -here we go ..... (ambi -car slows, door opens... )
1:43:59 BS -during migration, i think you know -they are basically flying when they can fly, during the day and -yeah boy! that has got to be a gull...you see birds mostly sitting around in the morning you see more birds sort of flying around after it warms up a little bit. but it's -this is sort of ¬there are lots of birds moving through this area, and we see a very small part of them. so what we are seeing may not really be normal for most of the birds. we may actually be seeing most of the birds that are not doing what they rest of them are doing. when they come in here and we see 'em close to the ground on a good day -or sitting around on this beach -they may be a few birds that are resting while the large majority maybe moving. so it is tough to say just what's a good time or an average time for them to be active. a lot of what we see here is a function of weather. and the weather is the variable that puts them in front of where we can see them. 1:46:01 in the breeding grounds the birds sit around a lot. i mean they spend -i would say, most of their time perched looking around. a very small percentage spend flying around. some of the flying they do is probably recreation for exercise and the rest of it predatory behavior and trying to feed themselves. 1:46:22 and there are definitely cycles up there in the breeding grounds... if there are a lot of young to be fed the males are pretty active.....
2:03:41 END OF DAT

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