Timeline

Some time in the middle of 2007 we noticed that a pair of peregrine falcons, relatively rare around the Central West of New South Wales, were interested in using Charles Sturt University’s Orange campus as a hunting ground.

Ian Grange, a member of staff, suggested we mount a roosting box high up in the water tower, on the south window to encourage the raptors to hang around. They took to the box very quickly and no end of carnage was brought in to consume.

IP cameras were located and mounted – one inside the box above the floor and the other one up high overlooking the ledge and their flight approach.

Since then we’ve been receiving brilliant close-up footage and experiences from our new acquaintances with every intention of making our coverage and data available to the world. We’ve come to know the adult pair well now and consider them a part of campus. Not often anyone can get this close to such amazing raptors!

You can follow the full timeline below.

Notable events

Sept 2007

Planning

Initial ideas and plans to build and mount a roost for a pair of curious peregrines; roost installed, cameras “borrowed” and connected, providing first images.

Early 2008

Moving in

Falcon adults appear frequently to use the roost as a feeding post.

23 Oct 2008

First egg

Beau, male, incubating egg.The first egg was laid and mum began her long vigil. It was observed that male (Beau) took his turn at incubation too.

28 Nov 2008

Thunderstorm

a violent thunderstorm in the afternoon resulted in a direct strike on the water tower, a mere 10 feet away from the nest; potentially fatal for both peregrines and their eggs.

1 Dec 2008

Chick born

Chick 'Migii' in the nest.Migii (so named from the local Wiradjuri aboriginal for “lightning”) was born to plenty of publicity and interest.

3 Dec 2008

Media attention

First visits from TV news crews, reporting on our feathered family.

16 Dec 2008

RAAF visit

We received a visit from representatives from members of disbanded RAAF 30 Beaufighter Squadron whose emblem fittingly was a peregrine with a lightning bolt.

9 Jan 2009

Migii grows up

(Day 40) Right on target, Migii is fully fledged and beginning to find the nest unbearably small.

13 Jan 2009

Migii's first flight

Migii flies off this morning on the maiden flight (just over 6 weeks old); the roost returns to normal.

15 Aug 2009

Mating season

Adult pair spotted mating on the top of the water tower.

5 Sept 2009

Eggs laid

The second season begins with three eggs laid.

11 Oct 2009

Hatching #1

Two of the three eggs hatch.

11 Oct 2009

Hatching #2

The third egg hatches, giving us a 300% increase on last year’s first recording season.

Nov 2009

Taking flight

A fledgling taking flight from the nest.All three fledglings leave the nest during a heatwave although the entire family still camps out in the trees below.

Aug 2010

Breeding

Our third active breeding commences.

6 Sept 2010

Eggs

Third egg appears for the third project breeding season; incubation begins.

6 Oct 2010

Another hatching

Solo in November 2011.Remaining egg for the third breeding season hatches; Solo officially joins us.

Oct 2010

Movie presentation

Successful public previews of 'The FalconCam Project' 23-minute movie presentation.

18 Nov 2010

Solo takes flight

Solo flies off, completing our third season’s fledging.

Aug 2011

Fourth season

Swift and Beau are preparing their scrape for our 4th observed breeding season.

29 Aug 2011

Breeding begins

Fourth observed breeding season commences with first egg laid.

9 Sept 2011

Live streaming

Live video streaming capability to the Internet established; ongoing upgrades and improvements.

4/6 Oct 2011

Three eggs hatch

Hatching of all three eggs; Narrambla, Ophir and Byng join us.

Oct 2011

Website moved

Live video streaming moved to Charles Sturt-based web pages due to 20x normal website traffic hits; new HD nest camera arrives (in testing).

Nov 2011

Fledgling

Team overserving the fledglingsAll three eyases successfully fledged.

Aug/Sept 2013

Season 6

Three eggs laid for Season 6; One egg was destroyed by the peregrines.

Feb 2014

Going high-definition

Both cameras are now running in high-definition for surveillance and observation. These are AXIS P3344 cams.

There was only one chick this year, Aspro and he was unfortunately, blown out of the box a week before he was due to hatch and was never found.

2017

New parents

Diamond and Xavier’s first proper season. There were three eggs (one of which Xavier tried to feed (!), but only two hatched. Both successfully fledged: Bali (m) and Marragaay (f).

2016

Bula disappears

Bula disappeared at first hatching time and was replaced after a couple of weeks by Xavier (from Saviour as he saved the season).

He didn’t help with brooding or feeding the chicks, but he provided for the family and we had three successful fledglings: Vim (m), Mell (f) and Rubi (f).

2017

Diamond and Xavier

Xavier is not really sure what to do with eggs, so tries to feed them! Diamond and Xavier’s first proper season.

There were three eggs (one of which Xavier tried to feed (!), but only two hatched. Both successfully fledged: Bali (m) and Marragaay (f).

2018

Two more fledglings

Gaama, three days after fledging.As for last year: three eggs, two hatched and produced two successful fledgelings: Budhin (m) and Gaama (f). Last sighting of juvenile was 2 March.

2019

It's a pattern!

Seems like a pattern: three eggs, two hatched. Both successfully fledged: Gaia (f) and Pluto (m), but Gaia not seen again after three days after fledging. Xavier developing into a really good father, but every year he has to be trained again to ‘give up’ his prey!

2020

Season threatened

Effecting repairs to the water tower, January, 2021.Nearly lost the season (potentially) because of major works to be undertaken due to a leak in the water tower. A last minute stay of execution means the works have been postponed until after the season. It was noticed that prey were coming in up to 7 times a day during courtship and almost stopped once eggs were laid.

Sept 2020

New 'box cam'

New ‘box cam’ is installed. This is a top quality HikVision cam and gives a good, clear image of the whole box and ledge and, once a microphone was added, good sound.

Nov 2020

Izzy

Izzi being fed by Diamond, adult female when 17 days old.Only one chick fledged a male called ‘Izzi’ (Arab for ‘mighty’). A second chick hatched, but only survived a few days. Izzi proved to be something of a character and didn’t leave the area until August 2020 when the parents started to block his entry to the nestbox.

Dec 2021

New camera

Xavier and Diamond return to the tower (image capture by the ‘tower cam’. A ‘new’ Axis P1448 cam, “tower cam” commenced streaming. This was donated by the Paul Carter of Captivaction. It had been recording the demolition of old building and construction of the medical faculty buildings and was donated to the project when no longer needed.

This gives a quite different view of the tower from the outside, so we can record their use of the tower and provide some spectacular flying images.