Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – perched

July 18, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I5065-001Another beautiful sunny morning!  Made a brief stop to observe the peregrine fledgling in Woburn.  It was perched high up at the top of the quarry at an elevation of over 180 feet.  According to noted peregrine falcon author and expert, Steve Sherrod, young peregrine fledglings still spend a large portion of their time perched on surrounding rocks and other nearby locations.  This morning the fledgling was perched upright, overlooking the area below, with both feet down.  This is the normal perched posture that a relaxed falcon assumes.

Lawrence Peregrines: mock combat!

July 13, 2016 in Near the Clock Tower

Stopped by the Clock Tower in Lawrence last night just after 5:30 pm. Terrific late day light with clear skies,
winds blowing around 15 MPH with gusts over 20 MPH, and temperature about 90 degrees.

Observed one of the peregrine fledglings in aerial flight with large loops and infrequent diving stoops. Quite
an exciting show from the young fledgling. To my surprise, another fledgling joined the fun and the real show
got underway!

For over 20 minutes, they proceeded to engage in an amazing demonstration of playful mock combat. Here is
an explanation of mock combat from Cornell’s Birds of North America:

Play occurs mainly in young. Immatures will pursue adults, siblings, prey, and attack inanimate objects.
Playful pursuit of siblings begins 2–3 d after first flight, mock combat between siblings begins 4–5 d after.

Mock combat progresses from flying parallel and occasionally rolling to extend feet toward siblings, to making
short darting dives and grappling in the air, to using air currents to make vertical stoops. Latter develops within 3 wk of flying. Play in falcons may be an expression of joie de vivre or it may simply represent the maturation of neuro-muscular coordination and central control mechanisms involved in agonistic behavior and pursuit and
capture of prey.

For those with an interest, 11 mock combat flight photos posted:
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Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – eating prey

July 13, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I4303-001Had a nice visit to observe the young fledgling this morning.  It was perched high up near the top of the cliff at an elevation of approximately 180 feet.  According to Steve Sherrod, fledgling peregrines assume a range of different postures when eating.  In this case, the fledgling was squatting on a flat ledge and eating prey that had been dropped by the female a short time earlier.  The fledgling was barely visible from below!

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn fledgling vocalizing

July 12, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I4146-001Shortly after fledging, the young falcons remain close to the nest and are frequently observed perching on nearby rocky outcroppings. Young falcons beg for food from the adults, often loudly vocalizing. The parents will keep track of the fledglings through vocalizations and continue to bring them food wherever they end up – baby birds are excellent at begging and yelling for food, according to Chris Martin at NH Audubon. Peregrine fledglings will continue to have food delivered by their parents for up to a month after they initially leave the nest and grow strong enough to explore the nearby skies alone.

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn female harassed by Mockingbird!

July 12, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I4013-001During an early evening visit tonight, observed the female peregrine perched up high, near the corner, to the east of the nest ledge.  It had just landed and immediately attracted the attention of a nearby Northern Mockingbird.  The Mockingbird incessantly and relentlessly bothered the female peregrine.  According to Mass Audubon, nearly all birds will display aggressive behavior when they perceive a threat to their nest or young.  The mockingbird is without a doubt the most zealous—harassing, people, domestic animals, and other birds!

Lawrence Peregrines: fledgling perched atop Clock Tower!

July 12, 2016 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I3857-001The Lawrence Peregrine fledglings have been a challenge to find these past few weeks.  They have scattered from the nearby rooftops and overall sightings have been few and far between.  It was a nice treat to located one of the fledglings late this afternoon as it perched on the weathervane atop the Ayer Mill Clock Tower!

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn fledgling in flight!

July 11, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I3692-001Always a beautiful sight to see a young peregrine fledgling in flight around the natal area.  The development of flight in young falcons signals the onset of a totally new stage in life and new behavior.  Peregrine Falcon fledgling research by Steve Sherrod has shown that for several weeks after leaving the nest, the young falcons concentrate their activities around the nest cliff.

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – chick fledged!

July 7, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I3203-001The Peregrine Falcon in Woburn fledged right on schedule Wednesday afternoon.  This morning provided a wonderful opportunity to observe the fledgling stumble and hop among the rocky outcroppings around the corner from the nest ledge.

In response to many emails with questions in regard to the initial fledgling stage, here is excerpt from Cornell’s Birds of North America:

Within 10 d of first flight, young pursue adults to solicit food. Flight progresses from Butterfly-Flight (1–2 d after first flight) to Flutter-Glide (3–9 d) to Powered Flight (15–25 d). Butterfly-Flight appears to be weaker form of Flutter-Glide associated with in-complete development of flight feathers and pectoral muscles. Pursuits gradually become more sustained and range farther from nest cliff. Adult pursuit is accompanied by Begging vocalization. During first 2 wk of flight, young birds’ pursuit of parents takes precedence over most other activities.

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – ready to fledge

July 6, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I2889-001The peregrine falcon chick is constantly flapping its wings and hopping all around the nest ledge in preparation for fledging, or first flight.  The chick is restless and so ready to explore the world in flight!

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – female with prey

July 6, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I2696-001Met up with John Harrison this morning under bright sun and blue skies to observe the Peregrine Falcons in Woburn. The female had captured prey and rested upon a utility pole on other side of parking lot. She rested but did not eat prey in her talons. She then moved off to a rock outcropping nearby, but, out of view of the chick. The chick flapped quite a bit and then laid down out of sight in nest ledge. The male flew a few loops and then perched to west of nest ledge at roughly same level.

For those with an interest, 4 photos posted:
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