Peregrines: both adults

August 28, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower

_W7I9324-001Made a stop by the Clock Tower just before 10AM, under clear skies, bright sun, winds from the west at 8MPH, and temp at 86F, to look for any peregrine activity.  The adult male was observed on the south side of the New Balance building along Merrimack Street.  Initially, the male was perched along the roof line, and then it flew around to a number of perches and then flew around towards the nest box.

 

 

_W7I9532-001The female was spotted along the the same south side roof line.  She was very bust consuming a snack and feathers were flying all around.  Had a nice view as she was finishing off the pink legs of her fresh catch.  Nice to see both adults in close proximity!

Lawrence Peregrines: one juvenile and two adults!

August 27, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, On the Clock Tower

_W7I9090-001What a nice surprise to see one of the 2018 hatch year fledglings around the Clock Tower late this afternoon.  It was another steamy hot day with clear skies, light winds, and temp well over 90F.  Just happened to catch a glimpse of a peregrine and upon a close look, it was one of the this year’s youngsters perched on the west side pole of the weathervane.  The left leg band was visible but just out of reach for a positive identification.  One the adults was seen on the SE corner of the lower roof, and the other was perched high atop the Verizon Cell Tower over the Merrimack River!

Male perched on grate SW corner

August 15, 2018 in lawrence peregrines

_W7I8568-001Made a pass by the Clock Tower yesterday afternoon on the lookout for some of the peregrine falcons.  One of the adults was perched on one of the granite ledges on the NW corner. It departed in flight for a few moments, and then returned and landed onto the metal grates on the SW corner of the upper roof.

 

_W7I8549-001After a few adjustments, and a bit of wing flapping to maintain balance, the male adult, turned around and faced in outward direction.  The movement provided clear looks at legs and banding, and from that, an ability to see clearly that it was the adult male.  The female has been seen from time to time, but the youngsters have not been around these past few weeks, and may have dispersed early.  Will provide an update next few days on research on the varied dispersal patterns of fledglings!

Fledgling in flight; adult female perched nearby!

August 7, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I8274-001Made a visit to the Clock Tower this afternoon under mostly cloudy skies, winds from SW at 10MPH, and temp at 94F.  Very little action around the area.  With binocs, made a scan and observed one young falcon atop the tall smokestack on opposite side of the Merrimack River by 250 Canal Street complex.  Then, made a closer look at the distant Verizon Cell Tower at the corner of Hampshire and Canal Streets.  The adult female was perched on the east side of the cell tower on a lower cross bar.  Her black/green leg band was barely visible.

_W7I8326-001One of the juveniles was perched up much higher on the north side of the Cell Tower.  Moved around to the west side of the Tower for a better look with just a bit more light.  The young falcon spread its wings and departed in a downward stoop in pursuit of something just out of sight and returned a few minutes later.  It then made many loops in flight around the tower and landed.

Clock Tower: fledgling off balance!

August 6, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower, On the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I7575-001Made a visit to the Clock Tower later this afternoon under clear skies, bright sun, wind from SW at 12MPH, and temp at 94F.  Both adults were seen perched and in flight around the Clock Tower.  One of the juveniles was perched for a while on the rood below the weathervane, and then launched into flight, circled a few times, and then landed on the nest box perch pole.

 

 

_W7I7564-002It was a bit challenged maintaining balance, and tuned around a few times.  Then, when ready to depart, it made a few awkward steps and lost its balance, falling into flight! Amusing to watch and a reminder that the youngsters are still learning their flight and safe landing lessons!

Day 42: 3 nestlings fledged and gone!

June 24, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

2018.0623-001The 3 peregrine chicks have all now fledged! Now all we see is an empty nest box.  The youngsters rarely if ever return to the nest box once they have fledged.  From time to time, the female will perch on the nest box perch pole, if it provides her with a good vantage point to watch the fledglings.  The action now is all around the Clock Tower.  The nest box will mostly remain empty until the middle of next March when preparations will hopefully once again get underway for the breeding season!

Day 41: last ones fledged!!

June 23, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

Sunrise this morning was at 5:07AM.  The remaining two peregrines started the day off under overcast skies, very light winds from the east and temp at 62F.  The day ahead calls for overcast skies with possibility of light rain, NE winds up to 10 – 12 MPH, and temps hitting 67F by late morning, and cooling off in the afternoon.

2018.0623.1 2Today is looking to be a big day with number two having fledged early this morning and the last one likely to go off today.  The remaining chick was seen in the nest box as late as 11AM and by 2:35PM, the nest box was empty with the last chick now fledged and out of the nest box.  The web cam will continue to operate, but little chance we will see any further action through the cam.  the chicks will many the next many weeks in and around the area around the Clock Tower.  The chicks will be learning to fly while the parents continue to feed them.

The young falcon, as it launches into the world, is a most handsome bird, and when the last vestiges of down are shed from the head, it has the regal appearance of the adult. The eyes have by now, taken on that extraordinary quality of lustrous vitality and intense watchfulness that even the best paintings cannot capture in its fullness.

Literature cited:

Ratcliffe, D. 1993. The Peregrine Falcon. 2nd ed. Carlton, England: T. and A. D. Poyser.

Day 40: #2 ready to fledge

June 22, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

After sunrise at 5:07, the peregrines started this morning off under fair skies, little wind and temp at 56F.  The day ahead calls for sunny skies, with a high near 76. East wind around 6 mph.

The two remaining chicks continue to move around inside the nest box, with time for loafing and resting, enjoying the morning shade, wing flapping, eating, and just getting ready for the moment of first flight.  The female continues to watch over the chicks, sometimes from the perch and other times from just a bit of a distance.

2018.0622.1 2Around 6PM tonight, checked back in and observed one chick in the nest box.  It seemed to look over and just below the nest box.  After a few minutes, a small movement was seen, and it turned out to be the other chick on the ledge right below the nest box.  Ir was moving back and forth, its head just visible, and then hopped up, and back into the nest box, and remained inside.

 

2018.0622.2 2Around 7PM, checked back again, and the ready to fledge chick was seen perched out on the perch pole.  It sat for a while, then hopped back inside the nest box for a while, and just after 7:20 Pm hopped back out onto the perch pole….so ready for first flight!!

 

 

2018.0622.3Many have asked, how do the chicks know when to fledge and make first flight?  What prompts the final push to launch out into the world forms he nest box? From what researchers have observed over the years, there is likely little particular action by the parent peregrines to induce their young to fly. The adults may reduce the food rations at this time, for the young are quite fat. Generally, the chicks fly when they are ready and moved by their own instinct. The first flight can be quite strong, but when it lands on a nearby perch, it may remain for many hours.  Food calls are exchanged, and the parent keeps close tabs from nearby. For a chick that has survived a fall from the nest, the adults will find, feed, and protect the chick until it is ready to fly away.

Literature cited:

Ratcliffe, D. 1993. The Peregrine Falcon. 2nd ed. Carlton, England: T. and A. D. Poyser.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 39: update!

June 21, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

Made a pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower this morning with a fresh determination to scour the area for the first fledgling.  After first flight, there is no telling if a fledged falcon may have been injured or harmed in some way.  Some times, they find a nearby spot to just rest and loaf a while.  They will call to the parents for food and be cared for as long as they are in range of the nest.  At times, observation of the adults, may provide clues on the location of a nearby newly fledged bird.

_W7I1738-001Just before 10AM, after looking high and low around all sides of the Clock Tower, made the last stop on the north side of the Merrimack River, and scanned the entire Clock Tower and adjacent buildings for any signs of the fledgling. The middle  window sill just below the north clock face seemed to have a dark horizontal sliver that was out of place.  With binocs, it looked like it could possibly be the fledgling.  A close look through the spotting scope confirmed it was the fledgling, but no signs of movement for over two minutes.  Finally it bobbed its head a bit, and provided final confirmation on being alive and seemingly OK!

_W7I1766-001Later in the day, just after 4PM, returned to same location on north side of Merrimack River, looking south at the tower, and the same fledgling was now on a lower ledge, and perched in upright position.  It likely had remained in the shade for a good part of the day, and may have moved little during the day.

 

 

_W7I1801-001The female was around the corner on the nest box perch pole and the other two nestlings were seen inside the nest box.  Had a chance to view the nest box from below just a bit later with nice views of one of the chicks, another in the background, and the female on the pole.  The other two chicks will likely make first flight over the next few days.  Hopefully, the three chicks will remain together and nearby in the weeks ahead!

 

 

 

Day 39: first fledge, two to go!

June 21, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

First day of summer! Sunrise this morning was again at 5:06AM under fair skies, light winds from the south at 5MPH, and temp at 62F. The peregrines started of this morning under fair skies, wind from south at 5MPH, and temp at 62F. The day ahead forecast calls for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Light and variable wind becoming northeast 5 to 8 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

2018.0621-001Now the first chick has fledged and the other two will follow shortly! Just after 5:30AM this morning, the female dropped off prey and the two chicks went into a scrum to attack the food.  The rumbled with each other over the food in a tug of war….quite a show. The remaining two continue vigorous wing flapping as they perch at the outer edge of nest box and look for their sibling nearby. First flight may happen at any time of day. The males will typically fledge first, and the females just a bit after, but not always the case.

Literature cited:

Ratcliffe, D. 1993. The Peregrine Falcon. 2nd ed. Carlton, England: T. and A. D. Poyser.