Lawrence Peregrines: week of May 15, 2023

May 24, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

May 15, 2023 under sunny and clear skies, wind from W at 10MPH with gusts, and temp at 72F. The female was seen just before 10AM perched near the top of the red brick Pacific Mills smokestack.

May 16, 2023 under mostly clear skies, wind SW at 13MPH, and temp at 64F. Finally we have a sighting of the male again, perched on a south facing rooftop, overlooking the Merrimack River, on a building that is part of the Pacific Mills complex.

Lawrence Peregrines: week of April 24, 2023

April 30, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

April 24, 2023 under overcast skies, light rain, wind E at 5MPH, and temp at 52F. Made a late afternoon visit, started on the north side of the river, and scanned all of the usual perch locations. Found a falcon perched on the Clock Tower and moved closer for better looks. Turned out to be the young female. She was on one of the ledges at 10AM, diagonally above the clock face.

At sunset time, checked the web cam and found the male inside the nest box. He was in and out a number of times, but not joined by the young female.

April 25, 2023 under mostly cloudy skies, wind E 7MPH, temp at 56F. Stopped by the Clock Tower this afternoon and initially sighted the male Peregrine perched on a lower NW ledge. Minutes later the female arrived and landed on an upper ledge. The male then went into a series of swinging flight moves on the west side of the tower. Later he landed joined the female on the upper ledge, before departing in flight to the NW. At no time has there been any observed copulation activity between these two falcons.

April 27, 2023 under partly sunny skies, light winds and temp at 54F. While scouting around for the Peregrines, around 10:30AM, in the extended area around the Clock Tower, made a sighting on the north side of the Merrimack River. Both Peregrines were seen tucked into the gear near the top of the red brick smoke stack on the west side of the Pacific Mills complex. This has been a very regular perch location this year.  The female is in the upper right quadrant of the photo and the male more to lower left.

On Saturday morning while looking through the web cam, spotted the female perched on the pole outside of the nest box!

That’s it for this week….stay tuned!

Lawrence Peregrines: week of April 17, 2023

April 23, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

April 18, 2023 under mostly cloudy skies, very breezy with wind from SW at 22MPH, gusts to 31MPH, and temp at 55F. INitial stop along Merrimack Street looking NE towards Clock Tower and scanning all known perch locations. Discovered the two year old unbanded female in a ledge diagonally above the 2:00 setting on the large clock face. She was enjoying some type of snack provided by the banded male.

Minutes later she lifted up and off in flight heading westward and away from the Clock Tower.

At 3:21, after circling the tower in flight, the male came roaring in, circling the tower, and then landing and moving inside the nest box. The young female followed right after him and this image shows her arriving into the nestbox!

Quickly pulled out my cell phone and gained access to the nest box webcam to catch looks of the male and female tilting forward and head bowing towards each other, a normal routine in the courtship rituals between Peregrine Falcons. The male leg bands are clearly visible on his lower left leg. So the big question continues, what may happen next, and is the other female already incubating eggs nearby?

A bit later, the male and female regrouped on the upper ledge, diagonally above the 2:00PM clock face. The female continued to feed on prey left earlier by the male. They spent a few minutes on the ledge together before the male lifted off in flight. The mystery continues……

April 19, 2023 under overcast skies, wind W at 13MPH with gusts to 21MPH, and temp at 50F. After initial scouting on the north side of the Merrimack River, discovered the male perched atop the red brick Pacific Mills smokestack located at the north end of the Casey Bridge. After watching a few minutes, also observed the young female. A minute later, she lifted up and launched into flight towards the river.

She returned shortly and perched near the male. She started to lean forward and make loud begging type calls directed at the male. A short while later he took off in flight and headed towards the Clock Tower.

April 20, 2023 under clear skies, light winds, and temp at 59F. After a number of random online nest box checks during the day through the webcam, spotted activity with both the male and the young female. Yet again, the courtship rituals continue with the male performing classic head low bowing along with eechip vocalizations. The image below from the webcam shows these actions.

A short while later, had a chance for direct observations, and found both falcons perched together, in close proximity, on the south side of the red brick Pacific Mills smokestack. The male was perched in the bright sun and the young female back a bit and in the shadows from my vantage point. Still no sightings, nor any sign of activity for the adult female. No way of knowing if she is still around and quietly incubating eggs nearby. The mystery continues……

On Sunday afternoon, under overcast skies, light rian, wind E 10 MPH, and temp at 47F, while online during a plane ride home, made a quick check on the falcons and found both the male and young female in the nest box. They continued with pair bonding and courtship ritual activities. The male continues is in the back, leaning forward and bowing his head low.

That’s it for this week….stay tuned!

Lawrence Peregrines: week of April 10, 2023

April 16, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

April 10, 2023 around 5:30PM, under clear skies, wind S at 5MPH, and temp at 34F. Observations made from South Canal Street just west of the Clock Tower. At first the male was seen perched atop the weathervane on the landmark Ayer Mill Clock Tower. For these local Peregrines, this is one of the most frequently used perch locations with excellent 360 views.

Minutes later, a second Peregrine arrived and spent time with the male, also perching on the weathervane. The two then launched in flight making large flight circles. It appeared to possible be a second year female. A bit later, three Peregrines were seen in flight with the females going at in a number of aggressive flight moves, even locking talons and rolling upside down while descending in flight. It was very dramatic. From a distance, this image below, documents the interactions close to 6:20PM.

April 12, 2023 under clear skies, wind W at 13MPH with gusts to 21MPH, temp at 70F. Observations made from South Canal Street on the west side of the Clock Tower. The male was seen perched on NW corner railing above the clock face. It had to make many adjustments due to the strong wind gusts. It lifted off in flight and provided nice views of the leg bands.

The male circled the weathervane a number of times and was in soaring mode with little wing flapping needed to maintain altitude. In this image below it was just turning on the west side of the upper roof and enjoying the wind with no distractions in sight. Minutes later, the male soared off to the NW and slowly out of sight!

April 15, 2023 under clear skies, wind NE at 10MPH, and temp at 64F. Out looking for the Peregrines on a sunny Saturday afternoon. There are many regular perch locations around the Clock Tower, and sometimes, you have to check two or three times to make sure you don’t miss. After multiple scans all around the tower, discovered the new two year old female perched on the SE corner of the roof railing, well above the clock face. She was facing NW and offered side views showing a white eyebrow and much heavier and thicker chest streaking. This female continues to be fed and cared for by the resident male, so stay tuned to see where this goes!

See you next week!


Lawrence Peregrines: week of April 3, 2023

April 9, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

On Sunday, April 2, 2023 the Peregrines were no where to be seen around the nest box. The same was true for Monday, April 3, 2023. Increasingly likely that the female has redirected her egg laying to an alternate location, perhaps again, under the nearby Casey Bridge. But wait….on Tuesday, April 4, in the late afternoon, the female was observed on the SW corner roof of the New Balance building. She was enjoying a late afternoon snack under clear skies, wind E at 10MPH, and temp at 57F. In tis image she is cleaning her bill against the edge of the roof!

Minutes later she lifted off in  flight towards the west, looped around and landed on a ledge just below a corner of the clock face!

April 5, 2023 just before 7AM, under overcast skies, wind E 15, and temp at 44F. The male was seen yet again mulling around in the gravel lined nest box, working overtime to prepare the nest scrape, and to encourage his mate to lay her eggs in the nest box. In this image, captured from the NB web cam, he displays his pair of leg bands. On the left leg you’ll see the alphanumeric black 78/green AB, and the right leg the silver federal band. So far, we are still standing by to see what happens…..

April 5, 2023 around 5:30PM, under overcast skies, wind E 6MPH, and temp at 40F. While out scouting for the Peregrines, the male was initially seen perched on the SW corner of the roof atop the Mill240 building. He was facing east and into the wind, then took off in flight towards the Ayer Mill Clock Tower. Minutes later, the male was found again on the SW corner on one of the roof tops at the New Balance building.

For the rest of the week, no sightings of the Peregrines in the nest box through the web cam or from other sightings at street level….stay tuned!

Lawrence Peregrines: week of March 27, 2023

April 2, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

March 27, 2023 under clear skies, wind SE 5MPH, temp at 50F at 7:45PM. The female was seen moving around inside the nest box and perched on the outer rim of nest box. Continued good signs that the female may be hopefully settling in and getting ready to lay first egg!

March 29, 2023 at 7:03AM under clear skies, wind S at 5MPH, temp at 28F. Both Peregrines were seen moving in and out of nest box, with continued courtship rituals with head bowing along with eechip vocalizations. In this photo the smaller sized male is on the left and the female on the right.

March, 30, 2023 in late afternoon with male moving around inside the nest box showing off his leg bands!

Over the next three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Peregrines were not observed in the box. This prompted all kinds of questions about if the female may have returned to the Casey Bridge to lay her eggs for the 2023 spring season????

Lawrence Peregrines: week of March 13, 2023

March 19, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

March 13, 2023 under overcast skies, winds E 7MPH, and temp at 38F. Just after 10:30AM, spotted a single falcon perched on a south side of a rooftop edge in the Pacific Mills building complex. Upon closer look, it was the male with a silver federal leg band on its right leg. It had likely finished a meal and was cleaning its bill afterwards.

March 14, 2023 under heavy overcast skies, heavy snow, wind NE 20MPH, and temp at 33 with wind chill at 22F. Searched the Clock Tower, nearby buildings, and other nearby rooftop areas, then on to the Verizon Tower just after 12 noon. In midst of heavy snow. discovered one of the falcons resting on one of the heat exchange ledges on south side of Verizon Tower.

March 15, 2023 under clear skies, wind at 13MPH with gusts to 28MPH, and temp at 40F. Both peregrines were seen on the south side of the Verizon Cell Tower. The male was warming himself while perched on one of the upper heat exhaust ledges. The female was close by and perched on a rooftop edge. The male turned himself a number of times as though standing in front of a fixed blower. This turning provided an opportunity for views of his left leg and revealing his sporty alphanumeric bicolored leg bands black over green “78/AB.” From Chris Martin at NH Audubon “really interesting that another Manchester NH fledgling has inherited the Lawrence MA territory after that long run of success (2003-2016) by black/green 6/4, although both of 78/AB’s parents in 2016 are different birds than were 6/4’s.” The second image shows the female in flight!

March 17, 2023 under light overcast skies, wind SE 8MPH, and temp at 47F. After scouting out all the normal perch locations for the falcon, discovered both of them, at noontime, atop the roof edges of the Mill240 building on the north side of the Merrimack River. They were just hanging out and loafing in close proximity to each other. This image shows the female perched on the SW corner of the roof.

The male was just kind enough to show off his  left leg with clear views of his alphanumeric black over green, bicolored “78/AB” leg bands!

See you next week!




Lawrence Peregrines: week of March 6, 2023

March 12, 2023 in lawrence peregrines

March 6, 2023 under clear skies, wind NW 15MPH with gusts to 23MPH, and temp at 41F. After viewing the female moving around inside the nest box around 7:30AM from the webcam, had a nice opportunity to view her again on the lateral perch pole outside the box just before 10AM. She continues to spend time in and around the nest box in advance of final pair bonding activities, and preparing to lay eggs around the end of this month. This view from Merrimack Street below the nest box.

March 7, 2023 under mostly cloudy skies, wind NW 13MPH with gusts to 22MPH, and temp at 33F with wind chill at 24F. Arrived at the Clock Tower with no sign of either falcon, then moved on to the Verizon Clock Tower. Not surprising with continued chilly temps to find the male perched on one of the south facing heat exhaust ledges. This is a favorite perch location in the winter months. No female in sight. The male scratched and preened for a while with this photo showing the male using his right leg for head scratching. Note the federal silver leg band on the right foot. Hoping to capture an image showing the black/green 78AB state leg band….stay tuned.













March 8, 2023 under overcast skies, wind N at 12MPH and gusts to 24MPH, and temp at 37F. Just before 10AM, the female was observed perched on the outer edge of the nest box and looking off to the west. She walked in and out of the nest box a number of times and was seen pushing the gravel around to prepare the scrape for laying eggs. Prior research indicates that although the male will lead the female to scrape locations and initiate scraping action, they will both make further adjustment to the scraping bowl. The image below shows a classic move by the female where she lies on her breast and pushes her feet backward to deepen the scrape bowl.

March 9, 2023 under clear skies, wind NW 10MPH, and temp at 40F. From the New Balance webcam, we can see her perched on the lateral pole extending out from the nest box while she preens herself and continues to establish this location as most likely for laying eggs this year!

March 10, 2023 just before 6AM, under clear skies, calm wind conditions, and temp at 28F. From the New Balance webcam the female was seen moving around inside the nest box and making squawking calls.

March 11, 2023, near 10:30AM, under overcast skies, wind N at 16MPH, and temp at 36F. From the New Balance webcam we see the female moving out further on the lateral perch pole while continuing to maintain an active presence in this location.

March 12, 2023, just after 1:00PM, under clear skies, wind E at 9MPH, and temp at 43F. From the New Balance webcam we see the female soaking in the afternoon sun and preening as the sun moves to the west side of the New Balance building.

Overall, it has been nice to have sightings of both female and male in the extended area. The female seems to claiming this location for this year’s breeding cycle, and we’ll likely know for sure within two, possible three weeks!  Stay tuned!










Lawrence Peregines nest ledge and a fledgling!

June 12, 2022 in lawrence peregrines

Friday, June 10, 2022: Clear skies, wind W 8 MPH, temp at 71F; sunset time 8:22PM

_W7I6104-001After locating the nest ledge for the Peregrine Falcons last Sunday afternoon from the kayak, was hoping to see if fledglings were out and about in the local area. The view from the kayak strongly suggested they were about 34-35 days old, and days away from fledging, or making first flight from a flat ledge underneath the Casey Bridge.



IMG_7415-001Spotted the vigilant female on one of the old smokestacks, but was totally unable to find any fledglings. After moving to many different vantage points, finally settled in at the Mill240 Park with great elevated views up and down the Merrimack River. A group of loud Crows flushed a smaller raptor from a nearby tree in hot pursuit. The raptor headed upriver, swooped in flight from below me, pulled up, and landed on the black park railing just 15 feet away! The landing and balancing was very awkward. What an unexpected treat!



IMG_7435-001Turns out to be one of the 2022 fledglings!! While out scanning with just binoculars, had to quickly run back to the car and grab a camera. This was about 13 minutes after sunset with clouds on the western horizon dimming the light as dusk settled in. While trying to get the right camera settings, a group of 4 youngsters crept a bit closer from the park, and initially tried to startle the bird. After gently encouraging them to quiet down a bit, they were very curious to know what type of bird it was, how old it was, and where it had nested….a great teaching moment out in the field!


Click on images to enlarge!

Lawrence Peregrines new nest ledge found!

June 5, 2022 in lawrence peregrines

Sunday, June 5, 2022. During the 2021 breeding season, the Lawrence Peregrines did not lay eggs in the Ayer Mill Clock Tower nest box. Many individuals and small groups diligently and regularly scanned the skies and mill buildings in the local area, but with no success. During February and March, 2022, the Peregrines were seen many times, but provided absolutely no actionable clues on the whereabouts of their new nest ledge location. We could sense they were nearby, but just didn’t know where.


In March, the male was regularly seen perched on the old smokestack just past the north end of the Casey Bridge and on the west side of the Pacific Mills complex, near the corner of Amesbury and Canal Streets. Most of the time, it was facing the Merrimack River. This image on the left, shows the male lifting off in flight, heading SW, late afternoon on March 16,2022.



_W7I1322-001Many mornings, the male was perched in the upper zone of the smokestack, facing south or southeast, and soaking in the morning sun. The departure flight patterns, altitudes, and directions were quite a mix and never really provided firm clues. This image was captured on March 23, 2022, and likely before the female had selected the exact nest ledge location for laying eggs.




From time to time, the female was seen perched on the faded green weathervane atop the Ayer Mill Clock Tower. This was a fascinating scene to observe as her reaction made it clear that it was not the local male but rather a very unwelcome interloper passing through the neighborhood. She went into full territorial defense mode, rolling over on her back, and using her outstretched talons to send a very clear message! This image was captured on April 5, 2022. At this point the female may have not yet laid eggs. Our biggest challenge was where to look next to find the nest!



Bridges have played a significant role in the national peregrine falcon recovery, consistently supporting more than 30% of the known population.

In Virginia, two researchers from the Center for Conservation Biology, conducted 166 surveys of bridges in coastal Virginia using a call-broadcast protocol. Broadcast calls were extremely effective in eliciting a response from falcons with nearly 60% and 100% of falcons responding within five and 30 seconds of call initiation respectively.

The ten-minute, call-back protocol includes a series of advertisement and courtship calls interspersed with silent listening periods. Response rates measured from detection trials were 83% during the breeding season overall with a peak of 100% during the courtship period.

Occupied bridges supported more potential nest sites, were longer and higher and were embedded within landscapes with more foraging habitat compared to unoccupied bridges. The current practice of installing nest boxes or trays has resulted in higher breeding success and reproductive output.

The flight image above shows the female responding to one of our call broadcast surveys performed along the east side of the Casey Bridge. After two successful surveys, we had almost full confirmation in regard to the highly probable nest ledge location.

Citation: Watts, B. D. and M. U. Watts. 2017. Investigation of breeding peregrine falcons on bridges. The Center for Conservation Biology. Technical Report Series, CCBTR-17-01. College of William and Mary & Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA. 38 pp.


On Sunday afternoon, June 5, 2022, we launched a kayak into the Merrimack River on the upriver and south side of the Casey Bridge. The Joseph W. Casey Bridge runs north/south over the Merrimack River. From the south, access to the bridge is from Parker Street, and from the north, access to the bridge is from Amesbury Street. On kayak approach to one of the large bridge archways, the unseen female started defense cacking vocalizations, and flew off downriver. While scanning the ledges up and under the west side of the bridge, the two peregrine chicks came into view……HOOORAY! Best guess on age is around 34-35 days old, and likely days away from the first one being ready to fledge.

Looking back, and making a number of probability calculations, it looks  like the eggs were laid first week in April, hatched first week in May, and the first chick fledged late this past week. These estimates fall within all of the normal breeding season sequence and timing for Peregrine Falcons in Eastern Massachusetts!

Click on any image to enlarge!