Drama on the Yaquina Headland (Photo Credit to Don Campbell)
All eyes are on the cliff above the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center, where four Peregrine Falcon chicks are being cared for by a single parent. Missing since the afternoon of Friday, May 21st is the female Peregrine of this aerie, affectionately known by staff members as “The Queen.” Thus far the male is more than stepping up to the task, but there are a lot of factors that will be working against his success, and the odds are small that all of the chicks will make it.
There is some good news however, in that this same male Peregrine successfully raised two chicks (also from a clutch of four) back in 2015 when it is believed he supplanted the male of the nest only to have his new mate disappear when the four chicks were several weeks old. He is six years wiser now, and seems very motivated to help turn these white balls of fluff into the streamlined predators they are destined to be.
Normally this activity would be completely out of sight of the public, but with the new Peregrine Falcon Cam that was purchased with the aid of Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, the drama is being watched by many now emotionally invested viewers. The Peregrine Cam can be accessed through the Friends’ group’s website at https://www.yaquinalights.org/web-cam/. This camera is the first in a package of two web cameras that will be placed on the headland, the second is excepted to come online around the first week of June and will feature the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean beyond.