Peregrine Falcons: Taunton Green

April 9, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I2799-001The world’s fastest animal continues to make a home atop a historic courthouse in downtown Taunton. A pair of peregrine falcons formed a nest in 2013 on the Taunton Superior Courthouse, making the Silver City landmark one of only 30+ locations in the state to host a nest for the aerodynamic bird of prey since the species disappeared entirely from Massachusetts in the mid-1950s.

“The peregrine falcon nesting in Taunton was a great new finding,” said Tom French, assistant director of MassWildlife, who oversees the agency’s Natural Heritage program. “Five years ago it would have been unheard of. … The courthouse is clearly working well for them. It’s absolutely another sign that the peregrine is coming back strong.”

MassWildlife found out in 2013 about the two peregrine falcons nesting at the Taunton Superior Courthouse. After further investigation, they also discovered that the couple hatched a clutch of four chicks there earlier that year, French said. Two of the baby falcons died during the learning-how-to-fly stage, French said, while the other fledglings left the nest successfully.

_W7I3439-001French said city residents should expect peregrine falcons to stay as permanent fixtures next to the Taunton Green.  This photo shows the banded female with the black over green 64/V alphanumeric state band on it’s left ankle.  The male, seen here launching into flight, is unbanded.

Peregrine Falcons: Brockton pair ready for eggs!

March 17, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I5450-001According to an article by well known birder Kevin Ryan, a pair of peregrine falcons, the fastest bird in the world, has made downtown Brockton their home since 2012. They started nesting on the Verizon Tower in 2012 and successfully raised four male young peregrines. The falcons are back this year in the same place and if all goes well, the female falcon should lay 2-4 eggs in the next two weeks or so.  Like most local peregrine nests, the female will sit on the eggs for about 30 days and the male will do most of the hunting, for small- to medium-sized birds, such as starlings and pigeons being a city favorite.

About 20 years ago with the help of organizations like the Peregrine Fund, and Cornell University, the peregrines started making a comeback, first in large cities such as Boston and New York City and now the numbers are growing so well that they are starting to spread to smaller cities like Brockton and Lawrence. The city of Lawrence has a camera placed at the nest called the Falcon Cam which lets everyone with a computer have a chance to watch these beautiful birds raise their young.

The Brockton pair with any luck should hatch the eggs after about 30 days after the eggs are laid, and about 40-42 days after that the young falcons will take to the skies above Brockton. Who knows, someday Brockton may have a local company sponsor a falcon cam in Brockton!

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