Peregrine Falcon pair: Downtown Haverhill

December 4, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Haverhill, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I0581-001Pair of Peregrine Falcons on the weathervane at the Post Office in downtown Haverhill. This adult pair was first discovered by Steve and Jane Mirick.  They were not successful in breeding attempts in 2016.  The male is perched atop the weathervane with the female below to the left. 

They both departed in pursuit of prey and returned a short time late. They were observed under bright sun and clear skies with little wind and temps in low thirties.  This pair has not been sighted for the last few months, so this is a welcome sighting and a promising sign of continued pair bonding!

_W7I0900-001The male provided nice looks at his leg bands.  The alpha-numeric black over green left leg bands showed 72/AB.  According to Chris martin at NH Audubon, this was a 2012 hatch year chick, 1 of 2 banded at Brady-Sullivan Tower in Manchester NH on 5/10/2012.

Peregrine Falcons: Haverhill

April 12, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I4707-001After months of observing the peregrines in downtown Haverhill and comparing notes with many other local falcon watchers, the pair of Peregrines in Haverhill have again laid eggs int he downtown area.  Last year, they laid eggs under the Basiliere Bridge over the Merrimack River.

Mass Wildlife then built out and placed a nest box in a tower on the bridge with hopes that the peregrines would find and use the nest box.  It looks like they settled in and dropped eggs on top of an apartment building near the railroad bridge.

_W7I4733-001Here the female had been perched atop a rooftop antenna and then launched into flight out over the Merrimack River!

 

 

 

Peregrine Falcons: Haverhill

March 16, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I4390-001The Peregrine Falcons in downtown Haverhill continue to hang out atop the roof at apartment building on the east side of the railroad bridge.  No indication of where the nest will be this year, but we should know within the next week….stay tuned!  This morning,one of the adult peregrines was enjoying the morning sun!

Peregrine Falcons: Haverhill pair

March 9, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I3451-001The Peregrine Falcons in Haverhill have been spending a lot to time in the local downtown area.  They are frequently found on a number of regular rooftop perches with expansive views overlooking the Merrimack River.  A nest box was put in place on the bridge but it remains to be seen if that will find favor with the female when she prepares to lay her eggs for the 2017 breeding season!  Here the unbanded female takes off in flight from one of the rooftops by the railroad bridge.

Peregrine Falcons: Haverhill

February 24, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I2404-001Made a late afternoon pass through downtown Haverhill and found both peregrines atop the east side of the roof at the Viewpoint Apartments located at 170 Washington Street. The east side is all shade late in the day, so both photos less than clear, but help to provide sense of where they are perching in late winter.  They have view looking east of the Merrimack and the bridge.

 

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Peregrine Falcon: Haverhill

February 8, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I0444-001Made a pass through downtown Haverhill under dark overcast skies in  search of the Haverhill Peregrine Falcons.  Looked high and low and then pulled into parking lot and river walk overlook next to Haverhill Bank.  Scanned the river, the west side of the bridge, and proximate rooftops.  Finally found one of the peregrines perched atop the east edge of the Bank of America rooftop.  It’s crop was bulging a bit, but otherwise unable to see leg bands during short visit.

Peregrine Falcons: Haverhill lovebirds!

November 16, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_w7i7098-001Made a visit to downtown Haverhill on this morning in search of the local pair of peregrine falcons under overcast skies, light winds from the west, and temps in low 50’s.

Lo and behold, they were perched together on the weathervane atop the Post Office, next to the busy bus station. No ability to observe leg bands!

Peregrine Haverhill: female on rooftop!

October 24, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_w7i2460-001As the sun was setting, made a late day visit to downtown Haverhill in search of the Peregrine Falcons.  After searching high and low, and with quite a bit of luck, was able to locate the unbanded female on a rooftop corner on the north side of the Merrimack River, just on the east side of Riverfront Park.  After a bit, it made a short flight to the rooftop to the west and joined the male who had been perching on the east side of that building….so BOTH!

Peregrine Falcon: Haverhill fledgling!

June 16, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

CF2C5979-001One of the fledglings was seen along this roof edge atop a 12 story building located at 170 Washington St. beside the Merrimack River.  The adult male (leg bands 72/AB) was perched nearby on the southeast corner of the roof top. Shortly after fledging, young falcons remain close to the local nest site and are frequently observed perching on nearby buildings. The youngsters beg for food from the adults, often loudly vocalizing. In addition, the chicks must develop and perfect their flying skills. For the first few weeks, when perching on a ledge, the young birds are often described as “dragging their wings,” “almost toppling over,” or “tilting.” Although they may appear in distress, these are all normal behaviors. Once they leave the Haverhill area, avian biologists are unsure where the young falcons go.

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Peregrine Falcon: Haverhill male perched on rebar…

June 15, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

CF2C5298-001Under bright sunny skies, the male peregrine with leg bands (72/AB) was observed perched on the outstretched piece of rebar from the bridge.  in the morning the rebar remains in the shade until much later in the morning.  The peregrine was unfazed by nearby light pedestrian traffic this morning.  This side view provides an informative view of it’s bill and more specifically, the tomial tooth.

Found in falcons, kites, and accipiters, the TOMIAL TOOTH is  the outer, or cutting edge of  of the beak.  This “tooth”  is the protrusion that extends from the tomial edge of the beak and is thought to be used to deliver the killing blow to prey. The tomial tooth of the upper mandible is often matched by a mandibular notch, or divot, in the lower mandible. 

This tomial tooth system is important because not all raptors rely solely on their muscular feet and talons to dispatch their prey. Birds like falcons may grab their prey and then use the lever-powered beak to sever the spinal cord of the prey that they catch. They slide their beak over the neck of their prey and use the upper and lower mandible to sever the spinal column. This sounds cruel, but it’s quite efficient and puts the prey out of discomfort very quickly.