More Butterfly flight patterns!

June 6, 2012 in Near the Clock Tower

On Wednesday afternoon we finnaly were graced with bright sunshine.  What a joy to watch the peregrine chicks again as they hopped, skipped, jumped and even got airborne at the west end of the New Balance west wing roof.  Fascinating to watch how the parents guard from a safe but close distance.  Kind of like attentive lifeguards at the beach, the adult Peregrines miss nothing!

8 Photos posted:  Click “next” in upper right to advance frames.

According to Cornell’s Birds of North America online entry for Peregrines: Flight progresses from Butterfly-Flight (1–2 d after first flight) to Flutter-Glide (3–9 d) to Powered Flight (15–25 d). Butterfly-Flight appears to be weaker form of Flutter-Glide associated with in-complete development of flight feathers and pectoral muscles. Pursuits gradually become more sustained and range farther from nest. Adult pursuit is accompanied by Begging vocalization. During first 2 wk of flight, young birds’ pursuit of parents takes precedence over most other activities. Young will even pursue parents during territorial defense (Sherrod 1983).

As young become more aggressive toward food-delivering parents, adults sometimes begin to drop both dead and live birds in air. Young pursue and catch these items. Has been interpreted as parental training of young to hunt, but may simply be way for parents to avoid being mobbed by hungry young (Sherrod 1983).

More stories posted online:

Atlantic City casino delays new sign until baby falcons old enough to fly

Pros, volunteers watching for falling falcons downtown

Richmond’s falcons take flight

Peregrine falcons enthrall downtown Duluth birdwatchers




Peregrine chicks in butterfly flight pattern

June 6, 2012 in Near the Clock Tower

What a thrill to watch two new Peregrine chicks running around and trying to get airborne!  They both are hopping, skipping, and jumping while they enjoy their new found freedom finally away from the confines of the Clock Tower nest box.  They also just enjoyed flapping their wings and spreading to their fullest extent possible.  They were playful with one another and constantly in sight of at least one, if not both adults at all times.  Many NB staffers are delighted to watch the chicks from outside.  They have been kind enough to share lots of stories of watching the Peregrines in years gone by.  They are far better than any organized Fledgewatch.  They are able to observe and watch over the chicks from inside and outside the building and they do so with a high level of protective care.  This may be the safest and most secure Peregrine falcon location in the United States with vigilant 24 hour security!

Ten additional photos posted:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames!

Additional stories:

Peregrine Falcon Chicks Born On Top of Fox Hall at UMass Lowell

7 peregrine falcon chicks call bridges home

3 peregrine falcon chicks hatch in Terre Haute

Baby Peregrine Falcons Living On Evanston Public Library Meet Fans (PHOTOS)

A delicate drama in Harrisburg as fledgling falcons take flight

Adorable Photos, Video: Baby Bridge Falcons Earn Their Bands!

Wildlife officials band young Peregrine falcons –

Falcons flourish atop Mayo Clinic




Warbling Vireo

June 6, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

The Warbling Vireo is well known for its cheerful warbling song!  They are frequently can be found in city parks, suburbs, and orchards.  Although it has a plain appearance, it certainly also has a cvery colorful voice, full of rounded notes and melodious warbles.  the male warbling vireo is known as a persistent singer during and after the breeding season!

A few more photos posted online:   Click “next” in upper right corner to advance frames.

Peregrine female chick fledges: June 5!

June 5, 2012 in Near the Clock Tower, On the Clock Tower

Spent all day on Sunday and Monday morning looking from webcam for any sign of the missing male that fledged first.  Watched the webcam and observed the female flapping and getting ready but needed to head off to work.  While pulling into west side of the Clock Tower, had a quick chance to stop and check for emails.  Many of the Peregrine watchers at New Balance and elsewhere provide me with excellent updates directly. 

Tammi posted this update:

At 7:35 am est. 6/5/2012 The second falcon took its first flight. I have had the stream on almost constantly because I knew it was going to happen soon. I was just about to shut my computer down to get ready for work and he was standing on the ledge of the nesting box, he has been doing this for the last couple of days, dangling his leg over the edge, stretching and flapping his wings, holding onto the edge and leaning out but always pulling back, running to the edge but always stopping just shy of jumping but…..this morning he jumped and I kind of jumped with him.  AWESOME! Now I am feeling the empty nest syndrome, lol :) Looking forward to seeing both babies back in the nest to develop their flying :)

The photo above is the female.  This is around 9AM with many NB staffers excited to see the fledling show.  Quickly, one adult was located, then another Peregrine was on the short steel beam on the NB west wing roof.  A devoted and veteran NB staffer with a long history of Peregrine chick watching then pointed out the fourth Peregrine on a window sill.  After using binoculars to get abetter view and to share with NB staffers, was able to ID a 4 Peregrines and realized that the missing male chick was AOK!  Fledging now completed and successful!

Link to documenting photos of all four from the morning:  Click “next in upper right to advance frames.

Peregrine news stories:

Falcons Hatch Chicks Atop Fox Hall

Officials band peregrine falcon chicks at Blue Water Bridge | The

Peregrine male chick fledges: June 3!

June 3, 2012 in In the Nest Box

And then there was one!  The male fledged on Sunday morning and left the female chick in the nest box on her own.  New Balance staffers report that the male was located at street level behind the super tight security gates on the New Balance property.  Calls were placed to a nearby volunteer who helped secure the male and return him in the company of NB security staff to the nest box.  Meanwhile the female was fed during the day and started to spend more time flapping her own wings perparing to fledge herself!

Peregrine limbo dance!

June 1, 2012 in In the Nest Box

This was an amazing Friday afternoon sequence.  The weather was cloudy and cool.  The male chick was endlessy flapping and you could just feel that he was so close to fledging, but not just yet!  The female was waiting and watching patiently.  The female adult returns to the nest box with prey and they all enjoy a snack.  the female then proceeds to perform a limbo dance on the perch pole.  She put on quite a show with the complete attention of the chicks!

More photos (18) posted online:

Peregrine stories keep rolling in from blog readers:

Peregrine falcon chickens make an appearance in Racine

Peregrine falcons nest on a rooftop in Elizabeth

VIDEO: Macomb County Welcomes Peregrine Falcon Chicks Webber and Otis

Baby falcon chicks under I-5 Ship Canal Bridge

GF peregrine falcons apparently add to brood

Banding of falcon chicks helps track movements, keep tabs on dwindling population

The peregrines‘ banding: A story of growth and loss

Canton Club crowd views falcon banding


Kestrel in landing mode!

June 1, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

The female kestrel lays 4-6 eggs, 1 every other day. She typically begins incubation upon laying the penultimate egg. The incubation period is approximately 30 days and the nestlings fledge in 28-31 days. They are dependent on their parents for another 12-14 days. Up to 75% of the young may die during their first year. Mortality rate drops to perhaps 10-20% per year as young falcons fine-tune their survival skills.

American Kestrels prefer open and partly open areas with scattered trees. They are a secondary cavity nester and are the only North American falcon or hawk to nest in cavities. They use woodpecker holes, natural cavities in trees, crevices in rocks, openings in buildings and nest boxes.

Additional photos including many flights shots posted online: