2018 Wyoming Ferruginous Hawk Cam
This year, the Biodiversity Institute had the privilege of filming a nesting pair of Ferruginous Hawks. For those unfamiliar, the namesake “ferruginous” means “rusty” owing to the characteristic red/brown color on the back and legs. These hawks are specialists of arid, open habitats like grasslands and sagebrush plains. Perhaps more than any other raptor, they rely heavily on large rodent prey like prairie dogs and occasionally jackrabbit. They occupy a smaller continental range than many similarly sized hawks, and Wyoming residents are fortunate to see these animals more frequently than most other states.
The Biodiversity Institute started the camera on 4 eggs laid late in April, all four eggs hatched on May 2nd and 3rd The chickes nested, eating and growing until July 2nd when the first chick fledged. By the end of the week the nest was empty except for occasional visits and at night when one or more of the chicks would return to sleep.
The nest selected for filming by the Biodiversity Institute was a unique one. While most Ferruginous Hawks will nest on rock bluffs, trees and, sometimes man-made nest platforms, this nesting pair built a nest on top of an oil retainer tank. The Ferruginous Hawk has been considered by some to be highly susceptible to human disturbances, but studies are also showing that any two individuals may respond very differently to humans. It likely takes a very tolerant breeding pair to nest on active oil and gas infrastructure.
For highlights and still shots from this years raptor cam view the image and video gallery.
About the Biodiversity Institute Raptor Cam
A glimpse into the private lives of wild animals is a rare delight. However, new camera, solar and data transmission technologies have made the behaviour of wildlife more accessible. The lifecycles of breeding raptors, for example, can be made visible by filming nest sites where young are raised. Video recordings provide data for the scientific investigation of nesting behaviour, prey species relationships and the survival of nestlings – information that is important for raptor conservation. Further, raptor nest video is a charismatic means to inform and engage citizens, scientists and land managers interested in the natural diversity of Wyoming. Thus, the Biodiversity Institute has launched an initiative to publicly stream footage of raptor nests in Wyoming. This initiative intends to promote the conservation of these captivating species in Wyoming and beyond, while simultaneously generating valuable data for the scientific community.
The nest was identified as part of a joint research project of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station
Posting Videos and Photos From Biodiversity Institute Raptor Cam
The University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute invites anyone to post photo and video screenshots / screen-recordings captured from these high definition cams. Since these photos and videos can be copied and duplicated over and over, we request that when you post these up to Facebook, Instagram, Websites, Blogs, or another social media location, the following information be included at the end of your photo/video caption: © 2018 University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute, Wyobiodiversity.org. These live feeds are the intellectual property of the University Of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute, and we kindly request that you do not attempt to embed or live stream these feeds on your website, blog, app, etc., or attempt to monetize screen shots or video captures. Thank you for your cooperation!