American Pipit

September 29, 2014 in Nearby Landbirds

American Pipits are birds of open treeless environments, breeding only on alpine or arctic tundra.  In fall migration, flocks of American Pipits inhabit open areas, especially short grasslands, barren fields, park lawns, and lowland shorelines.  This Pipit was observed in a noisy flock on the low riverbed of the Merrimack River just east of Rt. 495.


September 29, 2014 in Nearby Landbirds

The killdeer is a fairly common resident in Massachusetts.  This species is among the earliest spring migrants to arrive, usually by the middle of March.  Killdeer usually lay 4 eggs in a nest scrape lined with pebbles or grass.  After hatching the young move about quickly and start feeding themselves. The chicks fly around 25 days after hatching.  In October, they gather in flocks and are most common in the interior river valleys.  This killdeer was seen along the uncovered riverbed of the Merrimack River just east of Rt. 495!

Peregrine Female at nest box

September 24, 2014 in In the Nest Box

Late afternoon midweek visit to Clock Tower provided nice views of both male and female.  They were seen both perched and in flight in stunning late afternoon light.  The female will frequently visit the nest box in the off season.  In this perch moment, she is turned in just the right way to expose her left ankle.  This provides confirmation of her black/green V/5 leg bands and helps us to know that she remains healthy and well.  What a delight to be able to observe these urban dwellers most days this time of year and to see them in a variety of perch locations.

Two fascinating peregrines updates from online sources:

Skydivers and a diving peregrine from BBC News:

New book from Great Britain – Urban Peregrines:


Peregrines around Clock Tower

September 23, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

The Peregrines were both seen this morning in looping flight around the Clock Tower.  It was three years ago this week that they first came to my attention!  They have been a source of fascination and close observation ever since.  This time of year, they seem to have returned from their summer forays, perhaps at Plum Island.  They are seen from here on in with great regularity.

Peregrines back at Clock Tower

September 10, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The Peregrine Falcons have been seen with regularity over the past few days.  The adult pair were only seen a few times on the Clock Tower during the month of August.  Almost every sighting was just a solo sighting and never of the pair.  However, in the last few days, the pair have returned from summer camp on Plum Island and are perching in many of their normal perch locations.  They are also fully engaged in reminding neighbors and visitors about their territory around the Clock Tower!  This image shows the male perched on the outside edge of the nest box.