Lawrence Peregrines: feeding and brooding!

May 19, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower

The peregrines started the day watching the royal wedding under fair skies, wind from the NE at 3MPH and temp at 44F.  Sunrise was at 5:19 AM.  The forecast calls for rain, mainly after 11am. High near 58. East wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

IMG_6888The female was seen brooding and feeding the chicks this morning between 8 – 9 AM.  She still keeps the remaining egg close to her, and visible, while she broods the other chicks.  A bit later, food arrives and she prepares to feed the chicks, while taking a few bites for herself.

IMG_6893The female assumes an increasingly elevated brooding position as the chicks grow, and is especially careful with her feet when rising and moving away.  The brooding female gently pulls back with the underside of its beak, as needed, one of the small chicks, which moves out from under her, as she might hook a displaced egg. Female attentiveness to brooding depends on weather, the number of nestlings, and their age.  Brooding tends to become increasingly sporadic after about the eight day.

Literature cited:

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

Lawrence Peregrines: female on the roof

April 26, 2018 in Near the Clock Tower

_W7I5195-001Had a nice look at the female peregrine outside the box tonight.  She had been perched up on the Clock Tower, departed and made a couple of large aerial loops and then settled on the west wind rooftop of the New balance building in beautiful late day sunlight.  The wind was strong from the west at 13MPH and gusting up to 25MPH with temps in low 60’s.

Lawrence Peregrines: very sad news….”Crash” has passed away..

April 2, 2018 in Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

Update from Tom French:

CF2C1926-002I just learned from the Tufts Wildlife Clinic that the 17 year old male Peregrine Falcon, 6*/4* from Lawrence just died.  This is not a surprise, but it is the end of a long and impressive legacy.  I will pull together a brief summary of his legacy soon.

Lawrence Peregrines: copulation

March 27, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts


Made a pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower while heading to Industrial Way to observe the winter crow roost.  Skies were overcast, winds were E at 7MPH, and temps in mid-forties.  The male was in the nest box and then hopped out onto the wooden perch pole.  The female arrived and landed on the SW corner of the New Balance building at 200 Merrimack Street.  She cleaned her bill and then made a few soft calls to the nearby male.  He swooped off of the perch pole and landed atop the female with talons carefully tucked in.

During copulation the female is pitched forward,making an angle of about 45 degrees with respect to the perch The copulation wail is given throughout.  As the male mounts,the female spreads her wings out at the elbow about one-fourth open. The tail, up and to the side, may be partly spread.


_W7I4933-001The male flaps his wings throughout copulation, maintaining an upright posture with the neck extended and bent in a curve. Usually the male gives one or two bursts of the Chitter vocalization just before,during,and/or just after mounting and then Eechips sporadically. Some individuals give bursts of Chitter throughout.

Toward the end of copulation the male stops his tail movements pressing his cloaca against the female’s.  Rapid wing-beats accompany this tail-press.  The female may spread her tail partly at this time,and the male departs with a Hitched-Wing Display directly afterwards.

Literature Cited:

Cade, T. J., J. H. Enderson and J. Linthicum. 1996a. Guide to Management of Peregrine Falcons at the eyrie. Boise, ID: The Peregrine Fund, Inc. (Excerpt: Linthicum, Janet. Observing Breeding Behavior)

Wrege, P. H. and T. J. Cade. 1977. Courtship behavior of large falcons in captivity. Raptor Res. no. 11:1-46.

Lawrence Peregrines: rooftop

March 20, 2018 in Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I3882-001Arrived in the Clock Tower area close to 6:15 pm and located both peregrines on the south edge of the New Balance building along Merrimack Street.  The male sat quietly without moving much.  The female was closer to the SW corner and she was cleaning her bill against the edge of the roof line!

Peregrine Falcon: Boston University

March 18, 2018 in Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I3223-001Under clear skies, bright sun, strong NW winds at 17MPH, gusting 23MPH, and temp around 18F, with wind chill at 3F, made a short visit to look for Peregrine Falcons at Boston University.  Located one falcon next to the entry to the nest box atop the 26 story Stu Vi II high rise student dorms.

Lawrence Peregrines: pair bonding underway!

February 12, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I7077-001Made a morning run by the Clock Tower in search of the Lawrence Peregrines. Mostly cloudy, wind from NW at 9MPH, and temp around 42F.

The female was perched on the short but prominent steel beam on south side of Merrimack Street near intersection with Union Street. This is a very regular perch location in the morning, as the weather warms up.

 _W7I7129-001She was midway through a morning snack, when the male zoomed in and snatched the goodies….pair bonding underway!

Lawrence Peregrines: around Clock Tower

November 9, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower

_W7I6692-001The Lawrence Peregrines continue to loaf and enjoy the cooler fall days around the extended Clock Tower area.  Located the adult male this morning on one of the triangular roof pediments.  The morning was filled with bright sun, cobalt blue skies, light wind from the SE, and temps just over 50F.  The male looked a bit bedraggled with feathers blowing in the wind.  The female was nearby on the wets side of Clock Tower on a ledge above the clock face.




Lawrence Peregrines: male 6/4

October 30, 2017 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower

_W7I5920-001Made a late afternoon pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower for a brief look at the peregrine falcons.  While scanning for the peregrines, noticed hundreds of American crows streaming into the area west of the New Balance building complex and preparing for their overnight winter roost.  In the midst of the crow chaos, noticed a single peregrine buzzing a few of the crows.  The peregrine landed on a number of lower than normal rooftop perch locations, perhaps to take a run at some of the crows.  As it perched atop the roof of B&D Advanced Warehousing Corp. building in fading sunlight.  As it moved around just a bit while perched, the bi-colored alpha-numeric leg bands were exposed.  It was the male with the black over green 6/4 left leg band!

Chicks are helpless fuzz balls!

May 15, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower

2017.0515-001Peregrine Falcon chicks are helpless. One parent (often the female but sometimes the male) stays with the chicks while the other finds food for the brood. Eyases eat an incredible amount of food – but then, they double their weight in only six days and at three weeks will be ten times birth size. 

Newly hatched chicks are wet and covered with white down. But by three weeks of age, brownish juvenile feathers can be seen poking through the white fuzz. By five or six weeks of age, the white fuzz has been completely replaced by brown feathers. The eyases can be observed jumping around and testing their wings, getting ready to fly.