Eagle Tribune: leg banding

June 10, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

Terrific article on the peregrines this morning by Keith Eddings in today’s Eagle Tribune with photos by staff photographer, Tim Jean!

Wildlife officials band peregrine falcons at Ayer Mill clock tower

2018.0610LAWRENCE — Squawking, swiping and mad as hell, a female peregrine falcon was scooped from its nesting box in the Ayer Mill clock tower seven stories above the city Friday and placed upside down and head first into a cloth CVS shopping bag, where she calmed immediately.

It was a significant achievement for state wildlife biologist Tom French as she is an adult and therefore much harder to catch and band than chicks. Three of her own chicks would be next out of the box and handed off to the four biologists and technicians at the scene.

French, the assistant director of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife responsible for its endangered species program, has been trying to band this female every spring since she drove another female from the clock tower and took over her nest and her mate three years ago. This time, he was able to block her flight from the box by lowering a sheet of plywood over its opening to the sky, then lift her through a hatch door in the back of the box facing the cavernous chamber of a room just below the clock…..