Peregrine Falcons: Watertown

October 8, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

While heading home, had a nice opportunity to check on the Peregrine Falcons in Watertown.  This is a known nesting pair that have been in residence the last few years.  It was mostly sunny, with east winds  at 10MPH, and temp at 60F.

_W7I8759-001The adult male was seen on the front of the building in great light.  It was  stretching and preening.  Adults commonly stretch single leg or wing laterally; stand on one leg and stretch opposite leg back to side, simultaneously stretching wing from same side across extended leg. Peregrines also double-wing stretch (warble), bird bends forward and down raising both wings over back, sometimes fully extending wings at wrist; seen more in fledglings; may be followed by wing-flapping.

_W7I8953-001The larger female was seen nearby at a higher elevation near the nest box.  She then departed, made two aerial loops, and landed near the male at same elevation 8-10 feet away.  She proceeded to communicate with the male with head bowing and other movements.  In this display, her approach was entirely horizontal (head, body, and tail all in one plane) with a slight lowering of her head.  Her bill was pointed at the male and not towards the ledge. She paused to look at the male infrequently.  Fascinating to watch!

Lawrence Peregrines: preening and rousing

October 3, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

Made a late afternoon visit to the Clock Tower under clear skies, bright late day sun, light winds from the SE, and temp at 64F.  The adult male had just returned to a ledge on the NW corner below the clock face.

_W7I9115-001One thing the peregrine falcon does a lot is preening. Many hours each day is spent on the care of feathers, beak, cere and feet. Sometimes it seems like pure vanity, but it is in fact a necessity. Without well preened feathers the peregrine could become soaking wet when it rains, become ill and die. Or feathers that are not well groomed will cause drag when flying. When preening birds run their beaks through their feathers or scratching their heads with a toe.

_W7I9106-001Rousing is the the action of a peregrine erecting its feathers and then shaking them; part of grooming; a sign of a relaxed and content bird. Peregrines typically rouse (shake) after preening; also rouse during flight, particularly after leaving perch (unless to initiate a pursuit).

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn male

October 2, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I8655-001A Monday morning flyby visit with clear skies, bright sun, winds from NW at 5MPH, and temp at 63F.  The adult male was perched on the nest ledge and preening with its bill.  Preening keeps the feathers neat, preserving their streamlining and insulating effects as well as their color pattern.  Preening may help to remove any possible external parasites.