Falcons touching hearts

To the Telus tower peregrine falcons Perry and Windsong, Red Deer’s VIBs (very important birds), who are now busy feeding three recently hatched chicks.




To the Telus tower peregrine falcons Perry and Windsong, Red Deer’s VIBs (very important birds), who are now busy feeding three recently hatched chicks.

The babies, resembling little snowballs of white fluff, have intrigued thousands upon thousands of viewers from around the world in the last week. Viewers have flooded to a webcam broadcasting live on the Red Deer River Naturalists’ website and the Advocate’s website.

People from virtually every continent have tuned in as the camera, mounted in the nest atop the 95-metre tower, continues to record wildlife at its finest.

The success of the webcam, a co-operative effort of the naturalists, Telus and Alberta Fish and Wildlife, has surpassed all expectations, bringing to viewers a remarkable tale of nature featuring a fascinating raptor that at one time was on the brink of extinction.

The chat room that accompanies the two websites has been vibrating all week with excitement. Some viewers say they have been drawn to tears to witness what is unfolding.

Children, parents, grandparents, teens, school students, etc., have been glued to their screens. They’ve been tapping into the sites from home, work and school.

“I am addicted to the site,” one viewer confessed. Another said “housework is not getting done. I can’t stay away from the computer.”

Others applauded how the birds brought so many people together in joy, and lamented “it’s too bad all people in the world cannot live in such harmony.”

Amazing how witnessing nature can bring out such profound feelings and observations.

Red Deer River Naturalists member Judy Boyd, one of the driving forces behind this project, was beside herself this week when she met with three Advocate staff members to officially name the chicks as part of a contest.

In the past week, viewers have witnessed Windsong, the male, delivering food to an insistent Perry, the mom.

Sound has been improved remarkably on the webcam, thanks to Telus, and the babies squeaking for food, and Perry’s screeching commands to her mate to bring home the bacon, can be heard quite plainly.


To the British tabloids, for blaming the England’s embarrassing 1-1 tie with the U.S. in the World Cup soccer tournament on a Canadian model.

Goalie Robert Green fumbled a routine catch last Saturday, allowing the U.S. to tie the game. Green blames nobody but himself.

But in a mad scramble to pin the embarrassing play on someone, Brit tabloids pointed fingers at a Canadian model who Green had been dating prior to the World Cup.

Why not blame somebody from Canada? We’re an easy target. The Brit tabs single us out as the inhumane society that slaughters cute, fuzzy-white baby seals annually. (Wonder who they’re blaming for the BP oil disaster?)

But, back to the game. U.K.’s tabloid The Daily Mirror reported Green is “apparently devastated” after parting ways with a “leggy” Toronto-area lingerie model — Elizabeth Minett, aged 23. The couple met two years ago and lived together until a month ago, leaving Green “apparently down in the dumps” after they split.

If that’s the case, England needs a goalie more concentrated on the game than his hormones.

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.