Preparing to fledge!

May 29, 2012 in Chicks Only, In the Nest Box

Peregrine male chick is ready to go and preparing to fledge later this week!  He has been flapping regularly each day and itching to fledge. The female is taking her time and is clearly on a different schedule!

Peregrines in the news:

Season’s falcon chicks banded

Westar to band falcon chicks May 30

Falcon Chicks Banded And Checked

New hatch for Kansas City’s skyscraper-dwelling peregrine falcons


Eastern Kingbird

May 29, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

Eastern Kingbirds can be found in the trees up and down the side of the Merrimack River.  Courting males perform amazing aerial flights to attract a mate.  Nests are built at a range of heights in shrubs or trees, oftern near or over water.  Kingbirds are frequently found perched in the open or on an exposed branch, fence or wire.

Peregrines feasting on a Blue Jay!

May 25, 2012 in In the Nest Box

Adult peregrine brings a Blue jay back to the nest box to feed the chicks!

More photos of this scene posted at:

More news stories:

4 peregrine falcons hatch at Wood Co. Courthouse

Peregrine Falcon Chicks Banded at Brady-Sullivan Tower | New Hampshire

Peregrine falcons keeping a low profile

Two falcon eggs hatch in downtown Salt Lake City (video)

Baby falcons banded in AC casino penthouse

A third falcon chick arrives in downtown SLC

Baby Falcons Tagged at We Energies in Port


Peregrine adults guarding the chicks!

May 24, 2012 in On the Clock Tower

The adult Peregrines continue to stay in and near the nest box.  They regularly feed the chicks and then stay nearby but often times outside of the nest box or perched on the tower in proximity of the nest box.


Links to news on other Peregrines:

Four peregrine falcon chicks at Ambassador Bridge             

Baby Peregrine Falcon Chicks in North Bend Receive Tags

Three falcon chicks hatch at Statesman Towers




American Kestrel guarding the nest!

May 18, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

As the male guards the area outside the nest cavity, the female does most of the incubation.  However males have been known to occasionally sit on the eggs during incubation. Both sexes have brooding patches. Incubation lasts 29 – 30 days and hatched chicks are non-competitive. Once chicks have hatched, females beg food from males. The female, in turn, feeds the young for the first 20 days. After that period, chicks beg for food from males and feed themselves. After 30 days, chicks leave the nest. The family remains as a unit for some time. The survival rate of chicks is about 50% under natural conditions, but it is usually higher under better conditions (e.g., human-provided nesting boxes).

Peregrine eyases are somewhat helpless!

May 17, 2012 in Chicks Only, In the Nest Box

The chicks continue to huddle and the unhatched pair of eggs remain on the nest box.  Our friends at the Raptor Resource Center explain about falcon chick growth patterns:  eyases are somewhat helpless! One parent (often the female but sometimes the male) stays with the chicks while the other finds food for the brood. Eyases eat an incredible amount of food – but then, they double their weight in only six days and at three weeks will be ten times birth size.  Newly hatched chicks are wet and covered with white down. But by three weeks of age, brownish juvenile feathers can be seen poking through the white fuzz. By five or six weeks of age, the white fuzz has been completely replaced by brown feathers. The eyases can be observed jumping around and testing their wings, getting ready to fly.

Link to online article about Manchester NH peregrines:

Link to article in Machester Union Leader:  “Prime Time for Peregrines” by Mark Hayward, Union Leader, May 11

Peregrine chick banding day!

May 17, 2012 in Chicks Only, In the Nest Box

As part of an on-going project to monitor the Massachusetts peregrine falcon population, new peregrine chicks are banded each year at their nest-sites.  Biologists rely on the banding program to study the success of restoration programs and to better understand the birds’ habitat preferences and survival rates. The bands also help biologists determine how far young birds will travel to establish their own territories and track causes of death, according to an item in MassWildlife’s May newsletter.

After the pesticide DDT ravaged the country’s falcon population during the first half of the 20th century, restoration efforts have brought the species back from the brink of extinction. Peregrines were taken off the federal Endangered Species list in 1999, but the bird still listed as endangered in Massachusetts.  In the MassWildlife newsletter, French said there were 25 nesting falcon pairs in the state in 2011.

Photos of banding day posted online:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames!

Articles posted online:

Chick banding in Manchester NH:

Chick banding in Springfield, MA: MassWildlife officials band brood of Peregrine Falcon chicks at

You Tube video of Lowell banding:


Baby Falcons are known as eyasses!

May 13, 2012 in Chicks Only, In the Nest Box

A bit of background on falcon chicks!  According to the Raptor Resource project in Iowa, baby falcons are called eyasses. They are covered by white down when they are born, which is replaced by feathers in three to five weeks. Although they have a high mortality rate, Peregrines have been known to live as long as 15 years. They usually begin breeding at about two years old!

Peregrine chicks lazing around!

May 12, 2012 in Chicks Only, In the Nest Box

Both chicks are lazing around in the remaining shade as the later afternoon sun enters more fully into the south end of the nest box.  They have been resting in between feedings and typically huddle close to one another.  The pair of unhatched eggs continues in the nest box.  The eggs would likely have hatched by now if they were still viable.  At some point the parents may dispose of the eggs.  We hear that the same situation has happened in Manchester, NH with 2 eggs hatched and 2 unhatched at the nest located atop the Brady-Sullivan Tower.  More on this in the next few days!

Solitary Sandpiper

May 12, 2012 in Nearby Waterbirds

While kayaking in the wetlands at Carter Fields in North Andover, it was an unexpected surprise to encounter a Solitary Sandpiper!  The morning was warm with very light winds and beautiful early morning sunlight.  The Great Horned Owls were nowhere to be found.  A tree swallow dive bombed an object just ahead and it turned out be a Solitary Sandpiper.  This sandpiper is a fairly common migrant is usually seen alone in wet meadows, muddy ponds, wooded streams and beaver ponds.  This sandpiper breeds in marshy areas with scattered trees from central Alaska and southern Canada to Labrador and Quebec.