Great Horned Owl on nest!

April 24, 2016 in Great Horned Owl

CF2C8494-001A late afternoon visit to observe the Great Horned Owl on nest; the owlets were hunkered down and just out of sight as mother bear kept an eye on all nearby activities!  She wisely uses the shade of a close by branch as a shield from the late day bright sunlight.

Great Horned Owl and owlet!

April 21, 2016 in Great Horned Owl

CF2C8309-001Another morning visit to the Great Horned Owl nest under bright sun and blue skies.  The mother bear just watching over her owlets in a relaxed mode.  She is looking over her right shoulder with one of the owlets beside her!

Peregrine in flight – Woburn

April 21, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C8201-001Stopped on a lovely morning with radiant sunshine and cobalt blue skies.  The male peregrine performed a series of aerial loops around the boundary of the quarry area.  No predators were in sight and the loops were graceful and unhurried….quite a nice sight!

Great Horned Owl and owlet

April 20, 2016 in Great Horned Owl

CF2C8067-001After many visits, so enjoyable to get much better looks at one of the owlets in the nest!  They are now standing up much taller and looking around the nest area keeping an eye open on all proximate activity!

Peregrine Falcon: male perched in morning sun!

April 20, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C7831-001Made a short visit to the observe the Peregrine Falcons in Woburn this morning in bright sunshine!  The female was busy around the nest while the male was on lookout duty in close proximity!

Peregrine Falcons: Woburn – Copulating!

April 18, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C7788-001Made an early visit to observe the Woburn Falcons and found the female hunkered down in incubation mode.  She may have laid one or two eggs at this point.  Also had a chance to observe further copulation activity. Typically the copulation activity ends after the third egg is laid, so we may be close to the end of the egg laying cycle!

Peregrines: Woburn – female incubating eggs!

April 16, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C7543-001After months of speculation among the local peregrine watchers about whether these falcon would form a pair bond; and after many weeks of observed and reported copulation activity between the unbanded male, and the not quite yet one year old banded female, it looks very much like the first eggs have been laid and the the incubation process has started.

With Peregrine Falcons, it is normal for first-time egg layers to start a bit later in the season. The eggs are laid normally about 48 hours apart, but it can be as long as 72 hours apart. Usually, full-time incubation starts after the second to last (penultimate) egg has been laid. In many nests, the female handles the incubation duties around 2/3’s of the total time with the male taking up the balance and providing the female with time off the nest.

Wood Duck!

April 16, 2016 in Nearby Waterbirds

CF2C7474-001Wood Ducks are being seen in many lakes and ponds in Essex County.  The beautiful male Wood Ducks are considered by many to be the most striking and colorful of all North American ducks.  Their brightly colored plumage and stunning red eyes make for a memorable sight!  Unlike most other ducks, the Wood ducks are known for raising two broods per season!  This Wood Duck was recently seen at the Ward Reservation in Andover.

Pileated Woodpecker!

April 16, 2016 in Nearby Landbirds

CF2C7381-001The Pileated Woodpecker is a rare treat and a great find.  Observed this Pileated in the Ward Reservation in Andover as it moved among many of the the tree trunks around open and still swamp water.  The Pileated is the largest woodpecker in North America and is easily identified by its oversized bright red crest.  The Pileated remains on territory year round!

Red-bellied Woodpecker: on nest!

April 16, 2016 in Nearby Landbirds

CF2C7306-001It’s that time of year with so many nesting birds settling in for the breeding season.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a tree cavity nesting bird.  They typically find a hardwood snag and the breeding pair will incubate 4-5 white eggs for 12-14 days…..stay tuned!