Peregrine male on Verizon Tower ledge!

January 29, 2015 in Verizon Cell Tower

The male continues to spend time at the perch on an upper ledge at the Verizon Cell Tower building!

Bald Eagle: positive ID for transmitter/antenna bird!!

January 28, 2015 in Bald Eagle

In an email from Tom French at MassWildlfe, Tom summarizes the E7E findings:

You have not been copied on the most recent exchanges regarding the Bald Eagle on the Merrimack River, Lawrence, MA with a PTT transmitter.   I think that we all now agree with Chris Martin’s assessment below that the color band code is E7E formerly on an orange band which has now lost all of its color.  This bird was from Maine after all.

I think the evidence is now fairly strongly pointing to the adult Bald Eagle that has been observed on several occasions over at least the past year on the lower Merrimack River in Massachusetts with a PTT transmitter is E7E from Maine.  Photos by Craig Gibson which include the photo embedded below, ones attached above and others at , when all added together show E7E.

The following records of a banded adult Bald Eagle with a PTT tag seen on the lower Merrimack River between Lawrence and Amesbury, Essex Co. probably all refer to this bird.

01-02-13, Lawrence – Robbie Valcourt

  1. 12-~18-13, Lawrence – Doug Fernandes
  2. 03-09-14, Salisbury – Jack Dorsey
  3. 01-07-15, Lawrence/N. Andover – Craig Gibson & Doug Fernandes
  4. 01-13-15, Lawrence – Craig Gibson
  5. 01-22-15, Lawrence – Craig Gibson
  6. 01-28-15, Lawrence – Craig Gibson

Here are excerpts from two previous emails from Charlie Todd and Bill Hanson that provide some background on this bird, as well as Chris Martin’s assessment from this morning.


On Jan 10, 2015, at 7:30 PM, Todd, Charlie <> wrote:

A few of our orange anodized bands deployed on eagles during 1984-1987 (N = 249 eagles) still show up.  Most are faded to pale gold but at least one I’ve handled was absolutely colorless.  As you know, anodized aluminum bands of that era were not very colorfast.  However, only one bird with an orange color band (code = E7E) was fitted with a PTT satellite unit.  It was a rehab bird released near Auburn ME on 12/11/2005) and the transmitter failed years ago.  A few of the 1984-87 eagles had VHF transmitters (with the long floppy antenna dangling over the tail) but that first photo shows an erect antenna typical of PTT satellite units.


On Jan 21, 2015, at 8:04 PM, Bill Hanson [] wrote:

Craig’s photo sure looks like our North Star unit. The antennae position, rubber antennae base, and small round tip are the same. I attached photos of the unit we put on that day. One photo shows the satellite next to one of Charlie’s older radio units for scale. On another of Craig’s photos I definitely see the E and what looks like the angled part (/) of the 7. The color also matches the more orange shade of the original MDIFW bands. I’d bet it’s the Gulf bird. Mark P. has a scar on his chin to remember her by. Guess that dental floss holds up pretty well. Thank you for the excellent photos and information.


On Jan 29, 2015, at 11:03 AM, Chris Martin [] wrote

I don’t think there can be any doubt now that it’s E7E.  See this cropped and slightly color-adjusted version of one of Craig’s photo from yesterday which I have attached.  From the movement map (also attached) in the couple years after the transmitter was placed on it in Dec 2005, appears that it typically winters on the lower Merrimack, but might be breeding somewhere between Bath and Augusta.  A nice rehabbed bird survival story, and great work by Craig Gibson to get this info via photos!


Peregrine male hanging out

January 28, 2015 in Verizon Cell Tower

The male peregrine continues to hand out on a ledge at the nearby Verizon Cell Tower off of hampshire Street in Lawrence.  Looks like he has found a warm air vent of the south side of the building.  The perch location provide shelter from cold winds, south side sunshine exposure, suitable elevation, and most likely warm air exhaust from the building!  He perches solo and we are not able to know if new female friend may become mating partner as breeding season approaches quickly.

New female peregrine arrives!

January 26, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower, Verizon Cell Tower

As Chris Martin at NH Audubon has said, it is only a matter of time before a new female shows up!  Sure enough, a new female was seen feasting on a pigeon on Monday morning just before the start of the Blizzard of 2015!  The sun was out and the two peregrines were just feet away from each other as she snacked on a freshly caught pigeon.

According to Tom French at MassWildlife, “the historic Lawrence matriarch, V/5, is still at Tufts and not able to fly well at all.  There are no clear injuries, but one of her shoulders may have something wrong with it.  Mostly, I think she is just old, and I don’t think she is likely to recover enough to be released.  I expected that it would only be a matter of days, to a week or so, before a new female showed up.  So, you are seeing a new female, and V/5’s potential replacement.  Originally, V/5 was not banded, but I was able to catch her by hand when we banded her first chicks.  This is all part of the normal process.  At our longest running nesting territory at the Custom House in Boston, we are now on our 5thfemale and 3rd male.  There are fewer males than females because the second male lived to be 19.  The all time lifespan record for a wild Peregrine Falcon is 19 ½.” 


Peregrine male in the sun and awaiting mate!

January 23, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower, Verizon Cell Tower

The male peregrine continues to wait patently for the return of his mate.  According to Chris Martin at NH Audubon,  this male may end up attracting another female.  Upon doing so, then should V/5 return to the nest at the Ayer Mill Clock Tower……they will just have to work things out on their own….stay tuned!

Bald Eagle with leg band — E7E??

January 22, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower

Well it hasn’t been for lack of trying!!!!  This morning provided an unexpected opportunity to capture a number of images in a variety of settings near the Great Stone Dam on the Merrimack River in downtown Lawrence, MA.  The adult bald eagle with the transmitter and antenna moved around to a number of nearby perch locations.  Departing from one branch overhanging the river on the south side, just east of Riverside Park, afford a closer look at the elusive leg band and brings us a bit closer but no final confirmation.  So close!!

6 photos:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames!

Peregrine male atop weathervane!

January 22, 2015 in On the Clock Tower

So nice to see the male peregrine back on the tail strut on the weathervane atop the Clock Tower!!

Bald Eagle, subadult: leg bands P/7 (2.5 yr. old)

January 21, 2015 in Bald Eagle

With just a few minutes to check for Bald Eagles on the Merrimack River, made the rounds to tall the normal perches with no luck.  The final stop was looking west out over the Great Stone Dam.  from the north side of the river, scanned the ice and nearby overhanging tree limbs.  From a distance of just under 500 yards away, looked like a possible subadult eagle in a tree along the south side of the river, west of the dam.  Sure enough, it was a subadult.  The bird lifted off before I arrived from the initial vantage point.  It flew out onto the ice in the middle of the river.  The crows quickly initiated multiple rounds of  relentless harrassment.  As the eagle took off, it left behind some type of a pink wishbone snack remain.  It landed again on the south side berm which was about 100 yards from my new vantage point.  This new location provide nice looks and better opportunity to make positive ID of orange P/7 leg bands.  We have seen this bird a number of times nearby over last week!

Peregrine male — sunbathing

January 20, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower, Verizon Cell Tower

The male peregrines continues to await the return of his mate and enjoys this perch at the nearby Verizon cell Tower!

Peregrine female (V/5): update from Tufts Wildlife Center

January 16, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower

From Jess who serves as the Wildlife Program Assistant at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, MA.

It appears as though she may have a fracture in her shoulder, this will take time to heal. She has pain medication on board and has a great appetite.

Hopefully, she has a strong recovery path and is able to be returned in time for start of breeding season!