Kestrel adult male and fledgling

June 26, 2014 in American Kestrel

Flight agility increases noticeably during first week after nest departure, as flutter-glide is mostly replaced by deep wing-beats. Young appear hyperactive, changing perches frequently, attempting to pounce on various objects (including butterflies), performing exaggerated head-bobbing and tail-pumping intention movements, and emitting whine calls. Initially, parents deliver food to young; fledglings approach parents for food exchange by 1–2 wk postfledging. In post fledging mode we look for: perch-resting and preening  to decrease, while perch-hunting, flying, and eating self-captured prey increase. Perch-hunting success peaks at 3 weeks, at which time begging behavior ceases.   This parent and young were seen just east of the 250 Canal St. complex in Lawrence.


American Kestrel fledgling

June 25, 2014 in American Kestrel

The fledgling stage takes place typically at around 28–31 days.  Fledging of entire brood may occur over several days, reflecting some hatching asynchrony.  First flight likely to be a flutter-glide that may be short or less than 200 yards with first landings typically awkward. Young kestrels are dependent on parents for food for about 12–14 days after fledging. During first 2 wk, siblings perch close together, usually within a few yards. Allopreening and beaking (nibbling directed toward another’s bill or lore area) reported with great frequency.  This young kestrel was seen atop the roof at the east end of 250 Canal Street complex in Lawrence.


Bald Eagle nest; NW Essex County

June 24, 2014 in Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle is located in a nest in NW Essex County and it is ready to fledge and is expected to make first flight in next few days!

Bald Eagle nestling

June 24, 2014 in Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle nest in northeast Essex County along the Merrimack has 2 chicks this year.  Stopped by on a warm late June afternoon and observed the eaglet panting in the warm heavy air.  Like dogs, eagles don’t have sweat glands. They control heat by panting, radiation through their unfeathered legs and feet, and perching in the shade.

Peregrine fledgling

June 17, 2014 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The peregrine fledglings have been seen on many of the local warehouse building rooftops.  This late afternoon sighting was at the 250 Canal St. warehouse complex on one of the west facing roofs.  The young falcon was solo looking west!

Fledgling on lower ledge!

June 12, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

After a few days remaining in the nest box, the third and final chick fledged on Thursday.  In the late afternoon, had a nice opportunity to observe the fledgling on a lower ledge closer to Merrimack Street.  It was testing its wings and hopping along a ledge.  Not only a treat to watch from a close vantage point, but also had the chance to observe and document the black/green bicolor leg bands used on peregrines in Eastern United States.  This fledgling has black numbers (59) over green letters (BD).

More photos:

There is an international protocol in North America for colored leg bands on Peregrine Falcons. The color indicates the origin or subspecies for chicks banded in the nest. The colors in the protocol and their meaning are:

Red Captive bred
Black/red bicolor Eastern United States
Black/green bicolor Eastern United States
Blue Tundra Peregrines
Black/blue bicolor Tundra or Anatum captured off the breeding grounds or subspecies unknown
Green Peale’s Peregrines
Black Anatum Peregrines

Characters used on the Peregrine bands are letters and numbers, with one character on the top of the band and one character on the bottom of the band. Older bands may have these characters either vertical or tipped ninety degrees to the left. Newer bands have all vertical characters.

Fledgling on nearby ledge!

June 11, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The fledglings continue to be seen in a variety of locations around the Clock Tower with one of first two fledglings remaining for a day on a nearby ledge.  The older fledgling has flown to upper ledges and even atop the weathervane at the top of the Clock Tower!

Peregrine chicks; 2 fledge over weekend!

June 10, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The peregrine chicks took their first flights away from the nest over this past weekend. Not always choosing to or being capable of returning to the nest site, they will be found in different locations around the Clock Tower like these 2 on a nearby lower ledge!

Peregrine chicks will fledge this weekend!

June 4, 2014 in In the Nest Box

Most of the down, save for a few tufts on top of the head, has given way to regular plumage.  They continue with bouts of wing-flapping.  The oldest chick is the boldest chick in terms of getting ready to fledge.  The oldest has gone form wing flapping in the box to flapping on the lateral perch pole that sticks out from the nest box. This chick not only flaps out on the perch pole, but also tests itself by turning direction……all signs of readiness for first flight!

More photos:

Peregrine chicks days away from fledging!

June 3, 2014 in In the Nest Box

The peregrine chicks are now days away from fledging, or making their first flight!  They have spent time flapping their wings and perching at the front edge of the nest box.

More photos: