Red-tailed Hawk – Den Rock Park

December 7, 2017 in Red-tailed Hawk

_W7I1722-001Under bright sun and clear skies with west wind just under 10 MPH and temps in low 40’s, spotted this young Red-tailed Hawk on a perch scanning for prey at Den Rock Park. According to Birds of North America online, Red-tailed hawks feed on a wide variety of prey, using their powerful claws as weapons. Eighty to eighty-five percent of their diet consists of small rodents. Mammals as large as eastern cottontail rabbits may also taken. Reptiles and other birds make up the rest of the diet. Male red-winged blackbirds are common prey because they are so visible when guarding their nests. Red-tailed hawks do most of their hunting from a perch. They are not known to store food. 

Lawrence Peregrines – female with bulging crop

December 7, 2017 in Verizon Cell Tower

_W7I1895-001A beautiful morning with clear skies, bright sun, west wind at 9MPH and temp just above 40F. Adult female peregrine falcon perched on the south side of the Verizon Cell Tower on 6th floor ledge enjoying the hot air exhaust vents and morning sunshine; note bulging crop!

Peregrine Falcon pair: Boston University

December 7, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I1630-002Made a short visit to Boston University this morning to look for the resident pair of peregrine falcons.  This pair of adult peregrine falcons were seen basking in the glow of the rising sun on the east side of the building, high atop 26-story StuVi II at Boston University!  Due to the distance, no ability to observe leg bands for more detailed information.




Peregrine Falcon: Woburn – bulging crop

December 6, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I1470-001Made a short visit to search for the peregrines in Woburn under mostly cloudy skies, wind blowing from the west at 16MPH with gusts over 20MPH.  Observed the adult female falcon on a perch to the left of the nest ledge.  Great looks at the female with a very full crop. The crop is the name of the part of the falcon’s anatomy that serves as a storage area for food until it is passed to the stomach – often seen as a bulge in the upper part of the bird’s chest area when it is full.

3 Bald Eagles: Merrimack River, Lawrence

December 5, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I1194-001Two adult Bald Eagles perched along Merrimack River, 125 yards apart, and then a third adult flies in from the west, loops a number of times and lands on a proximate perch, while one of other eagles takes off downriver; quite a nice show!  The number of wintering Bald Eagles along the Merrimack continues to grow as the weather gets colder.


American Crows: winter roost, Lawrence, MA

December 4, 2017 in American Crow

IMG_1698-001Arrived well before sunrise this morning to observe the extraordinary winter crow roost in Lawrence, MA.  These American Crows have gathered along the Merrimack River for decades as part of an overnight winter crow roost.  In the off season, crows are known to gather in large numbers.  In recent years, the winter crow roosts are seen with greater frequency in urban areas.  This morning provided an awesome opportunity to witness the overnight gathering just as they departed for the day.  This roost is estimated at just over 5,ooo American Crows along with a much smaller contingent of Fish Crows.  After quieting down after sunset in the overnight roost, and spending the night together, they launch into flight at first light.  They are very noisy and depart in all directions.  By sunrise, almost all of the crows are gone from the roost…..quite an amazing sight!

Peregrine Falcon pair: Downtown Haverhill

December 4, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Haverhill, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I0581-001Pair of Peregrine Falcons on the weathervane at the Post Office in downtown Haverhill. This adult pair was first discovered by Steve and Jane Mirick.  They were not successful in breeding attempts in 2016.  The male is perched atop the weathervane with the female below to the left. 

They both departed in pursuit of prey and returned a short time late. They were observed under bright sun and clear skies with little wind and temps in low thirties.  This pair has not been sighted for the last few months, so this is a welcome sighting and a promising sign of continued pair bonding!

_W7I0900-001The male provided nice looks at his leg bands.  The alpha-numeric black over green left leg bands showed 72/AB.  According to Chris martin at NH Audubon, this was a 2012 hatch year chick, 1 of 2 banded at Brady-Sullivan Tower in Manchester NH on 5/10/2012.

Bald Eagle perched Merrimack River, North Andover

December 4, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I1120-001Another bright sunny morning, clear skies, winds light from NE under 5MPH, and temps in mid-30’s.  Observed this adult Bald Eagle on a regular perch overhanging the Merrimack River in North Andover.  This perch location is a regular one at this time of year.  It is just down river from where Sutton Pond empties into the Merrimack River, to the east of the Rt. 495 overpass.