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Richmond Falcon Cam

Falcon Cam is Back and Better than Ever for the 2022 Season!

  • March 1st, 2022

Welcome to another year of the Richmond Falcon Cam—we are glad to be up and running in 2022 for another nesting season thanks to our partner, Comcast Business, who has helped us make this viewing opportunity possible. Comcast Business has been supporting the Richmond Falcon Cam since 2017 by providing the internet connection that powers the cam and we couldn’t be more appreciative of our partnership!

An image of a female peregrine falcon 95/AK landing on a ledge near the nesting box after she was called over there by her mate 59/BM

The female falcon, 95/AK, comes in for a landing on the parapet after being called there by her mate, 59/BM.

We are thrilled to report that the season is starting out on a positive note as we have seen both adults from last year’s pair on camera regularly throughout the course of the past month. We’ve also made some exciting upgrades that we hope will make the season even more enjoyable for Falcon Cam viewers!

First and foremost, we’ve installed a microphone, which you can see in the rear right corner of the nest box. This means that for the first time in the history of the cam, we now have audio to accompany the livestream! Viewers will be treated to a variety of falcon vocalizations, including “ee-chups,” cacking, wailing, and chittering. You can mute, unmute, and adjust the volume of the audio using the controls located at the bottom left of the video player.

We’ve also worked with our partners at HDOnTap to enable a new time-lapse feature within the video player. This means you can go back and catch up on any action you may have missed, even if you weren’t able to tune in live! These time-lapse videos display still images taken every 15 seconds that are ultimately compiled into one compact 2:23 minute video for each day. The player stores 30 days worth of videos and can be accessed by clicking on the date control at the bottom of the video player. Note that these videos do not feature sound.

Finally, viewers may also notice a memorial plate on the nest box recognizing the service of our DWR colleague Ernie Aschenbach, who passed away last year. Ernie was a passionate biologist with close ties to the Richmond falcons. In addition to regularly participating in the annual Fledgewatch events, he used his carpentry skills to create a custom stand for the camera, an action that ultimately helped bring the livestream to thousands of viewers across the country. And, in January of last year he built and helped deploy a new nest box for the falcons, replacing the old battered box that had been in place for nearly two decades. Fittingly, that very same box that Ernie built now features this plate celebrating his work on behalf of the falcons and Virginia’s wildlife.

The female falcon perches atop the nest box above the memorial plate installed by DWR staff in recognition of our coworker, Ernie Aschenbach.

The female falcon perches atop the nest box above the memorial plate installed by DWR staff in recognition of our coworker, Ernie Aschenbach.

As a reminder, 2021 saw the first appearance of 59/BM (band code), a third-year male falcon who ultimately paired with the downtown female peregrine, 95/AK (band code) who has been annually observed in Richmond since 2019. Together the new pair fledged four chicks in what was presumably the male’s first-ever brood, and the female’s second.

Based on the activity that we’ve observed on camera in recent weeks and the birds’ efforts to maintain the scrape, we are optimistic that this pair will choose to nest once more in the box atop the west tower. Although the outcome of this pairing ultimately remains unknown, we hope to see the female begin laying eggs in the coming weeks!

We invite you to follow along with us as we cover the events of what will hopefully be another successful season! And remember, if you want to receive falcon updates directly to your inbox, you can join our subscriber list on out our Falcon Cam homepage. This page also includes links to our FAQs as well as archived posts that outline the events of previous seasons.

59/BM (male) perches atop the ledge by the nesting box with a recently captured prey item.

59/BM (male) perches atop the ledge with a recently captured prey item.

95/AK (female) in the process of straightening/maintaining her feathers (otherwise known as preening) on the ledge near the nesting box

95/AK (female) in the process of straightening/maintaining her feathers (otherwise known as preening). Did you know that the word falcon is derived from the Latin word ‘falco,’ which means sickle? More specifically, this is in reference to a falcon’s sickle-shaped talons, which you can see clearly in the above photo.