Peregrine Falcons: Woburn pair in flight!

March 18, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I6107-001During a late afternoon visit to observe the Peregrine Falcons in Woburn, had a nice opportunity to both the male and female as they perched on rocky outcroppings, swooped around the area in flight, and then perched atop a couple of different utility poles around the parking lot area.  They handled lots of disturbances from cars coming and going as well as lots children screaming and yelling as they departed with parents from the indoor safari playground.  Very enjoyable to observe and record a number of takeoffs and flight patterns from the utility poles along with a number of very brief copulation attempts.  We may eggs sooner this year than last….stay tuned!

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Peregrine: Woburn male

March 16, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I4365-001Under bright sun and clear skies, made a short visit to observe the Peregrines in Woburn. Only the male was hanging around on one of the rocky outcroppings to the west of the nest ledge.  He was very busy preening and scratching while, lifting both legs and making a ball/fist with talons, at different times.  The female was in sight during course of visit.

Peregrine Woburn: basking in sun

March 15, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I3985-001Among Peregrine Falcons, courtship and nesting activities are now in full swing.  Pair bonds are growing close and copulation seems to be right on time based on historical schedules.  Here, the male peregrine is perched near the nest ledge, basking in the sun, but will engage in territorial defense against any and all intruders!

Peregrine: Woburn female nest ledge

March 3, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I2669-001Another morning visit to the peregrines in Woburn with the female again perched very comfortable at the entry to the nest ledge in bright morning sun.  She has claimed this spot many times and perhaps this will be the location for laying eggs this breeding season.  This will be her first breeding season in this location.

Unlike humans, Peregrine females can choose when to fertilize their eggs. That’s a great advantage in the wild. It means begin the egg production process when she’s selected a safe nest site.

The final step is to prepare the nest. In the wild, a Peregrine’s nest is little more than a depression that’s been scraped out of the dirt and gravel on a cliffside or rocky outcrop. Not surprisingly, bird biologists call this kind of nest a “scrape”.

The courting, mating, and nest preparation behavior continues up until the time the female is ready to lay her eggs. This will hopefully be near the end of March or early April, a bit earlier than last year!

Peregrines: Woburn courtship time?

February 27, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I2513-001The female is regularly seen in and around the nest ledge area.  This bodes very well for pair bonding and strongly suggests success for the upcoming breeding season.  This is a new female and she gets along well with the continuing male at this site. as we move towards the end of February, we enter the time for courtship activities.  Courtship serves to strengthen the pair bond and brings the pair into reproductive synchrony. Courtship behaviors may be seen  over a long time period depending on the breeding chronology of the specific pair but is typically observed most intensively during the month of March. Courtship involves several behaviors performed in flight or in the vicinity of the nest site. These include circling flights, bows, and displays. Behaviors are often associated with vocalizations. During the courtship period, the male will frequently offer prey to the female.  Stay tuned!

Peregrine: Woburn female crossbar perch!

February 20, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I2231-001Made a very late pass by the Woburn Peregrines at the end of President’s Day weekend.  It was a quiet Monday on a holiday long weekend.  The late day setting sun cast a golden glow without a cloud in the sky.  The sun was just setting while the female peregrine was perched on the largest utility pole with the double crossbars.  She has thicker lateral barring on her underparts compared to the male and his finer barring pattern. The female is more heavily spotted on the upper breast and the pattern becomes heavily barred on the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and under the tail. feathers.

Peregrine: Woburn male preening

February 17, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I1173-001The male falcon was seen perched and enjoying the bright morning sun.  It spent time stretching both feet and talons as well as preening feathers on both wings.

Method of preening flight and body feathers for Peregrines as in most birds. Toes and talons nibbled with bill, particularly after feeding.  Peregrines typically rouse (shake) after preening; also rouse during flight, particularly after leaving perch (unless to initiate a pursuit). After rousing or preening, may bend head down and to side to rub eye against wing wrist.

Scratching is form of preening for areas not reached with bill; raises one leg in front of wing and bends head down to side; talons (especially middle toe) used to scratch head and bill, effective in dislodging scraps of meat.

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.

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Peregrine Woburn: male on perch

February 15, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I0826-001The male peregrine was found perched on a snow-backed ledge near the nest area this morning.  It remained inlace for over a half hour with little movement and no other activity nearby!

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn, female

January 23, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I4023-001The female continues to be seen with regularity around the nest ledge in Woburn.  She frequently perches at the next ledge in a very content way.  A number of recent sightings have been of either one, but not both together.  This morning was cold with overcast skies and light winds.

Peregrine Falcon: Woburn

January 19, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I3908-001A morning visit to the quarry for a look at the falcons.  The male was seen perched just to the west of the nest ledge under overcast skies. Very little action nearby and the peregrine remained on perch for quite a while with very little movement but with eyes open the entire time.