Peregrine fledgling injured & sent to rehab

June 30, 2013 in Near the Clock Tower

The last fledgling of four suffered a open wound and right wing radial fracture last weekend.  The young bird estimated to be about 8 weeks old was found at a playground along Island St. in Lawrence.  The injured fledgling was watched by a group of teenagers and thankfully a call was placed to the local police and Ellen Bistany, the city Animal Control Officer was dispatched to the location.  She took possession of the peregrine and then communicated with a local police detective who has a falconry background.  A prompt visit with the detective allowed for a correct ID to be made as well as an initial determination of the probable injury….a wing fracture.  The fledgling was brought to the MSPCA facility at Nevins Farm in Methuen.  Pam Nixon, who serves as the assistant manager of the equine and farm animal adoption center was very helpful and arranged for contact with and transport to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton.  

The Wildlife Clinic reports that the female fledgling with black over green leg bands 93/AD is bandaged with its wing in place.  The fledgling sustained a fracture and soft tissue trauma.  It has been able to perch on its own but it did sustain severe bruising.  It has a figure eight bandage in place, and is splinted with no cast in place.  It performs normal body functions and has a somewhat stable appetite.

 This story represents an amazing example of an outstanding team effort by a chain of well informed and responsive caretakers. This peregrine family is quite well known In Lawrence by MassWildlife staffers, NH Audubon staffers, local police, nearby security guards, New Balance employees, commercial tenants at 250 Canal St., residential tenants at many nearby apartment buildings;  staff, members and friends of GroundWork Lawrence the local conservation group; staff and members of the the Merrimack River Watershed Council;  endless members of this list who have been in contact and shared so many observations, Eastern Mass Hawk Watchers and the list goes on!

5 photos of injured female fledling courtesy of Ellen Bistany:

5 close up flight photos from fledge day:   Click “next” upper right to advance frames

15 close up photos from fledge day:    Click “next” upper right to advance frames

 Blog post from her fledge day:    Click “next” upper right to advance frames

 Will provide further update;  a wonderful story to share about great teamwork in the field!

Warbling Vireo along the Merrimack River

June 19, 2013 in Nearby Landbirds

According to the Mass Audubon Breeding Bird Atlas, the Warbling Vireo is the most drab and unassuming in appearance.  It more than makes up for this, though, with its effervescent and melodious song.  Warbling Vireos can be heard singing throughout the breeding season in Massachusetts, and their breeding range within the state has expanded considerably.   Warbling Vireos seldom appear in Massachusetts before May, but most of them arrive within the first two weeks of that month.  Pairs may arrive already attached, but they quickly find each other even if they arrive singly.  Males sing constantly throughout the breeding season.  They make take a brief hiatus while the dependent fledglings are being raised, but will pick up again during the late summer.  The pattern of the Warbling Vireo’s rollicking, whistled song is sometimes remembered by the amusing mnemonic, “If I could see one, I would seize one, and would squeeze one, till it squirts!” or some similar variant.  Most of the nest-building is done by the female, who locates a suitable forked branch high in a deciduous tree.

Peregrine Falcon chicks

June 19, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The Peregrine chicks continue to be seen all around the area rooftops, sometimes perching and sometimes tsaking off on a new flight patterns!  This chick was twisting and turning around a very tall smokestack and then landed on top and enjoyed the view!

Bald Eagles around the nest!

June 19, 2013 in Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle pair continue to watch over the eaglet as it grows larger each day.  Today provided an opportunity to join others and watch the eaglet flap around the nest and perch on a number of nearby branches.  An adult returned to the nest with more food and helped the eaglet with tearing the prey apart.  Another adult arrived and then, possibly a third came by the nest site for a short visit.  One of the adults circled around the nest a few times allowing for a series of flight shots in beautiful late day light!

7 photos posted of adult in flight mode:   Click “next” upper right to advance frames

6 photos posted of adult and chick in nest:    Click “next” upper right to advance frames

5 photos posted of chick in nest moving around and flapping all over:    Click “next” upper right to advance frames

American Kestrel

June 18, 2013 in American Kestrel

The Kestrels continue around nest hole area.  Frequently seen on one of many nearby perches.  Hatchlings hopefully will be senn very soon!

Peregrine fledglings loafing around!

June 13, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The Peregrine fledlings continue to be very active around the area and spend lots of time executing new flight patterns as well as lots of time loafing around in between meals.  They were observed under heavy overcast skies on the rooftop of a nearby brick building!

American Kestrel, female near nest

June 13, 2013 in American Kestrel

Kestrels continue to be very visible around nest site with frequent forays to ward off the young nearby Peregrine fledglings.  The peregrines are constantly exercising thier flight muscles with all kinds of new flight patterns.  Wathcing the two species co-exist in adjacent locations will get more interesting once the Kestrel chicks join the scene!

3 photos posted from heavy overcast morning:   Click “next” upper right to advance frames…enjoy!

Bald Eagle chick getting closer!

June 13, 2013 in Bald Eagle

Stopped by the Eagle’s nest Thursday morning under heavy overcast skies and found both an adult and the eaglet in the nest.  The adult had likely just returned to nest with some type of prey offering.  The eaglet spent some time eating and then flapping its wings while moving around the nest!

4 photos posted:   Click “next” upper right to advance frames….enjoy!

Bank Swallows

June 13, 2013 in Nearby Landbirds

Found over much of the world, the Bank Swallow (known as the Sand Martin in Eurasia) is one of the most wide ranging of the North American swallows. In Massachusetts, it is a locally common species but is limited in its distribution by the availability of suitable nesting sites. The smallest of the six swallow species that nest in the state, it is the only one that rarely uses artificial nesting sites.   According to Mass Audubon State of the Birds Report, “the Bank Swallow requires riverbanks and gravel pits for nesting, but its distribution in Massachusetts has declined significantly to a somewhat restricted level in recent years. This is possibly due to the fact that these habitats have become more restricted or because of a general decline in the abundance of the flying insects that constitute the species’ diet.  Discovered this nesting colony recently and observed a beehive of activity! 

3 photos posted from heavy overcast morning:   Click “next” upper right to advance frames…enjoy!

Peregrines: last chick (93/AD) fledges on Sunday!!

June 9, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

Sunday was an amazing day with the blessing of being able to watch the fledglings just after sunrise and just prior to sunset in brilliant sunlight.  The Sunday night watch provided some of the most exciting and breath taking action I’ve ever seen in the bird world!  After tracking this 12 year old pair since September 2011, they have become quite familiar.  At the last moment this year, they changed nest locations to the north side of the Merrimack River and moved into a tiny studio apartment to lay eggs.  After hatching, Mass Wildlife alertly assessed living condtions and moved the 4 chicks to an open air rooftop nest box with terrific success.  Tonight was the golden moment that comes every once in while….a moutaintop experience… of those moments which glowed, which filled me with overwhelming feelings of unity with creation!  Tonight also included the treat of seeing the first flight of the last fledgling!!

37 photos posted of the peregrine chicks, post fledge, and still trying out their new wings while on rooftop perches, perching with Mom, soaring in flight and loving it, and finally just basking in the late day sunlight and continuing to stretch the beautiful new wings……WOW….. so worth a look to marvel at the beauty of it all!   Click “next” in upper right corner to advance frames….enjoy every moment!!!