Lawrence Peregrines: male resting on ledge

March 23, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower

_W7I7290-001A late afternoon visit by the Clock Tower with both peregrines in sight.  The male was seen on a window ledge along the very west wing of the New Balance Building.  These ledges are more regularly used by fledglings after first flights.  From time to time the adults will be perched on these granite ledges to be near the nest or just to be out of the wind and to soak up the warmth of the late day sun!

Bald Eagle, Essex County nest #2: female on eggs

March 23, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I7236-001A lovely sight to observe this female Bald Eagle on next with eggs.  She is hunkered down in the nest and takes infrequent trips away from nest for quick bathroom breaks and feeding runs. Throughout the 33-35 day incubation period, one parent is always on the nest, not only to keep the eggs warm but to protect them from squirrels and gulls which would relish the chance to break open and eat the eagle’s eggs!

Peregrine Falcons: Woburn adult pair

March 23, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I7161-001During the courtship process, the peregrines will typically engage in some type of food exchange as a way to strengthen the pair bond. Peregrine Falcons feed almost exclusively on birds, such as doves, waterfowl and songbirds, but occasionally they hunt small mammals, including bats, rats, voles and rabbits. Insects and reptiles make up a relatively small proportion of their diet. On the other hand, a growing number of city-dwelling Falcons find that feral pigeons and starlings provide plenty of food. Because of their high metabolic rates, Peregrine Falcons must consume more food in proportion to their size than most animals. To be efficient flyers, the digestive system of birds has to be both as light as possible and as efficient as possible.

Great Horned Owl: female on eggs!

March 21, 2017 in Great Horned Owl

_W7I6976-001In Massachusetts, Great Horned Owls typically start nesting in the middle of February, raising their families in the later stages of winter. The female will incubate the eggs while her mate brings her food. Within a month, up to five eggs will hatch and the owlets will be closely guarded by their parents. Six weeks after hatching, the owlets will leave the nest and walk around. In another three weeks, the young owls will already have learned to fly. The parents will continue to feed and care for their offspring for several months, often as late as October. It is wise to stay away from young owls and their nests as Great Horned Owls are not afraid to attack if they feel their family is threatened!

Lawrence Peregrines: around the Clock Tower!

March 21, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower, On the Clock Tower

_W7I6838-001The Lawrence Peregrines continue to be very active around the Clock Tower!  They perch in and near the nest box, make all kinds of aerial flight patterns, and continue with copulation activities.  Late this afternoon, discovered the female perched on a NW ledge just below the clock face, the male circling in flight, and then finally, the male landed on the outer edge of the next box.  He was good enough to provide a look at his alphanumeric leg bands for positive ID!



Lawrence Peregrines: female landing on weathervane!

March 20, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I6600-001On a late afternoon visit under sunny and very clear skies, had a nice opportunity to watch the unbanded female in flight around the Clock Tower.  She finally made a smooth landing on one of the upper struts on the weathervane.  The male was perched nearby but no move to join her.

Lawrence Peregrines: female atop smokestack!

March 20, 2017 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

_W7I6506-001While scanning for falcons in the area, just happened to glimpse a perched bird atop one of the old brick towering smokestacks in the 250 Canal Street building complex.  This a perch that gets much more use after fledglings have left the nest box.  Once in a while the adults perch here as well….here the female enjoys a spectacular view of the river and surrounding area!

Peregrines: Woburn copulation mode!

March 20, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I6448-001A bright, sunny morning with breeding activities in full swing!  During copulation, the female leans forward and moves her tail to one side. The male rests on his tarsi (part of the foot above the toes, like the foot), on her back flapping his wings, and presses his tail underneath the female’s. Copulations are usually accompanied by wailing on the female’s part, and chittering or “ee-chupping” by the male. When the male departs, the female usually “ee-chups” a few times, and often rouses (shakes her feathers).

Peregrine Falcons: Woburn pair in flight!

March 18, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I6107-001During a late afternoon visit to observe the Peregrine Falcons in Woburn, had a nice opportunity to both the male and female as they perched on rocky outcroppings, swooped around the area in flight, and then perched atop a couple of different utility poles around the parking lot area.  They handled lots of disturbances from cars coming and going as well as lots children screaming and yelling as they departed with parents from the indoor safari playground.  Very enjoyable to observe and record a number of takeoffs and flight patterns from the utility poles along with a number of very brief copulation attempts.  We may eggs sooner this year than last….stay tuned!


Peregrine Falcons: Brockton pair ready for eggs!

March 17, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I5450-001According to an article by well known birder Kevin Ryan, a pair of peregrine falcons, the fastest bird in the world, has made downtown Brockton their home since 2012. They started nesting on the Verizon Tower in 2012 and successfully raised four male young peregrines. The falcons are back this year in the same place and if all goes well, the female falcon should lay 2-4 eggs in the next two weeks or so.  Like most local peregrine nests, the female will sit on the eggs for about 30 days and the male will do most of the hunting, for small- to medium-sized birds, such as starlings and pigeons being a city favorite.

About 20 years ago with the help of organizations like the Peregrine Fund, and Cornell University, the peregrines started making a comeback, first in large cities such as Boston and New York City and now the numbers are growing so well that they are starting to spread to smaller cities like Brockton and Lawrence. The city of Lawrence has a camera placed at the nest called the Falcon Cam which lets everyone with a computer have a chance to watch these beautiful birds raise their young.

The Brockton pair with any luck should hatch the eggs after about 30 days after the eggs are laid, and about 40-42 days after that the young falcons will take to the skies above Brockton. Who knows, someday Brockton may have a local company sponsor a falcon cam in Brockton!