March 31, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts
Under heavy overcast skies, snow, sleet, fog, light winds from the East and temps in mid-thirties, had a nice opportunity to observe a pair of peregrine falcons in a known nesting location near Taunton Green in downtown Taunton, MA. The female was seen perched and in flight prior to returning to the nest box. The male was seen in a number of aerial loops prior to settling in on the ledge of a copper roof! A left leg band was seen but not close enough to make a positive ID….stay tuned!
March 30, 2017 in In the Nest Box
The adult female and male continue to be seen and very active around the nest box but no signs of eggs laid just yet. This is just a bit later than past seasons for the onset of eggs being laid, but other peregrine nests are also a bit late! We’re getting much closer to the time!!
March 30, 2017 in Bald Eagle
Made an morning visit to Bald Eagle nest and observed both male and female both perched and in flight around the nest while sitting and watching from a distance under clear skies, bright sun, light winds from NW and temps in mid-thirties. Both adult Eagles were seen with leg bands but unable to make any positive ID on the leg band codes during this visit!
March 29, 2017 in Bald Eagle
An unexpected treat to find both male and female hunkered down in the nest together late afternoon. Observed this pair under partly cloudy skies, wind from the north at 12 MPH and temps in low 40’s. Very likely that at least one eaglet has already hatched but not big enough yet to be seen at edge of nest!
March 29, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower
Lots of pair bonding continues with the male and female. they are frequently seen in very close proximity to each other with the breeding cycle in full swing. This morning the female was seen eating prey on one of the triangle pediment ledges above the entry to one of the New Balance buildings located at 200 Merrimack Street under dark overcast sky conditions. The male was just to the east on one of the short steel beams just below the roof line.
March 28, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn
During copulation the female is pitched forward, making an angle of about 45 degrees with respect to the perch. The copulation wail is clearly heard nearby. As the male mounts, the female spreads her wings at the elbow, about one fourth open. The tail, up and to the side, may be partly spread.
The male flap his wings constantly during copulation, maintaining an upright posture with the neck extended and best in a curve. the male may give a burst or bursts of the chitter vocalization just before, during, or after mounting. The entire copulation process may last as long as ten seconds, and then the male departs.
March 28, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower
While passing by the New Balance building complex, just happened to notice a possible Peregrine on the peak of one of the triangular roof pediments on the south side of the building. Turns out to be the female enjoying a mid-morning snack. It was an overcast morning with low light conditions. The male flew by for just a moment and then out of sight!
March 26, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn
A beautiful Sunday morning, partly sunny, wind from the East at 12 MPH and temps in low 40’s. The female was perched on a utility pole near entrance to Vinkari indoor playground. The male was nearby and launched into flight and zoomed away. The female kept looking over her shoulder and above to something in the distance. Turns out the male had flown off to soar with another adult peregrine. The soaring together was very peaceful with no signs of aggression!
March 23, 2017 in Bald Eagle
Sixty to ninety percent of a bald eagle’s diet consists of fish. The birds generally scavenge dead fish, although they will catch live fish as well. The bald eagle is an opportunist and will sometimes steal fish from an osprey or crow. But ospreys have been observed stealing fish from young eagles as well. The bald eagle uses several fishing techniques. A favorite method is to perch in a tree and watch for a fish swimming in open water nearby, and then swoop down to capture it. If a suitable tree is not available near the water for perching, the birds may also fly out over open water looking for fish below. In winter, they may perch on the edge of ice near open water and wait for fish to float by, or to wash up on the ice. After catching a fish the eagle fly back to a perching tree to eat it, bring it back to the nest, or if the fish is small enough, swallow the fish whole while the bird is in flight. Occasionally, eagles will carry a larger fish they have caught back to the ice or to the shore to be eaten. In over 80% of their feeding, wintering bald eagles along the Merrimack River, feed upon small fish they can eat while flying.
March 23, 2017 in Nearby Waterbirds
Great Blue Herons nest in colonies, often called rookeries or heronries. Heronries are usually in isolated spots away from potential disturbance and near suitable feeding areas. Herons that are frequently exposed to human disturbance may be more tolerant. Herons nest in deciduous or evergreen trees, usually near the top on vertical branches. Nests are usually constructed in the tallest trees available, on islands, or in trees with water around the base, presumably to reduce the risk of predation by mammals. Nests are constructed from branches and twigs gathered from the ground, trees, and old nests. Nests are typically 25-40 inches in diameter and 12 or more inches thick. Heronries, like the one near Nevins Farm MSPCA, may be used for decades; however, herons will relocate their colonies in response to increased predation on eggs and young, declines in food availability, human disturbance, and/or death of trees supporting the nests.