Lawrence Peregrines: Egg #4!

March 28, 2020 in In the Nest Box

Conditions; clear skies, wind S at 3MPH, temp at 37F; forecast for day ahead – increasing clouds, with a high near 56. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Tonight rain likely, mainly after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 40. Light southeast wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

2020.0328.LPWhat a joy to behold this morning just before 7AM….egg #4! The eggs have been laid 48 hours apart over last number of days.  This is the normal pattern and this may be the last egg to be laid. So now, the Peregrines shift into full and shared incubation duties that will last the next 32 to 33 days or so.  We are about a week ahead of last year’s egg laying time frame and two weeks ahead from two years ago.  With God’s grace the circle of life continues!

2020.0328.LP1According to Birds of North American Online: the eggs are fairly smooth without gloss. When fresh, ground color varies from pale creamy to brownish or reddish overlaid with dots, spots, and blotches of various warm browns to deep reds and purples; great variation. Generally deeper and richer color than other large North American falcons.

Lawrence Peregrines: Egg #3

March 26, 2020 in In the Nest Box

Conditions: partly sunny, wind N at 18MPh, with gusts to 29MPH, 40F; forecast for today – cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 45. North wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph; tonight – increasing clouds, with a low around 40. Light south wind becoming southwest 10 to 15 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

2020.0326.LP-001After a long observation period this morning through the New Balance Falcon Cam, finally just before 9AM, the female lifted up and took in flight for a break and revealed egg #3 right on schedule.  Typically the female Peregrine lays eggs about every 48 hours until the process is complete.  We have seen mostly 4 eggs laid per year at this location, and usually near the end of March! This first image shows the eggs in the scrape all close together!

2020.0326.LP1-001Moments later, the female returned to the lateral perch that extends out from the nest box.  She rested there for a awhile before resuming her incubation duties!

Lawrence Peregrines: 2020 Egg #2!

March 26, 2020 in In the Nest Box

Conditions: overcast skies, wind NW at 7MPH, temp at 35F; forecast for today – partly sunny, with a high near 51. Northwest wind around 8 mph and tonight -mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Northeast wind 3 to 5 mph.

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Great news this morning about 10 minutes before sunrise time, checked the nest box web cam and egg #2 has been laid overnight! This first image was captured through the webcam about 6:40AM. At first look, the female was out of the nest box, and then returned minutes later. Normally, the eggs are laid 48 hours apart, but there may be variations. We’ll expect the third egg on Thursday morning. Until the next to last egg is laid, the female may only incubate form time to time unless the temp is a bit cooler.

 

 


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Later in the afternoon as the sun came out and the temperature warmed up, the female was seen incubating both eggs!

Lawrence Peregrines: 2020 Egg #1!

March 22, 2020 in In the Nest Box

It was a cold start to this Sunday, with temperatures in the upper teens to 20s, under a clear sky and subtle breeze.  This afternoon, under sun-filled skies, temperatures only rebounded back into the upper 30s. The wind chills were in the upper 20s through most of the day. Tonight, the Peregrines will have increasing clouds, with a low around 24. Southeast wind around 6 mph.

2020.0322.LPMade a visit to the extended Clock Tower area late Friday afternoon, and checked on the activity around the nest box and the extended Clock Tower. It was fairly quiet and the female was seen from the street and through the webcam. She was mulling around inside the nest box. Checked again this morning and wonderful surprise in seeing the first egg for 2020!

Later in the afternoon, she spent a more time incubating the egg, and basking in the later afternoon sunshine! Recently, her behavior was very consistent with the general lethargy that a female falcon typically experiences in the few days prior to laying the first egg. In many cases this lethargy may last a week or longer. She lazes around and spends lots of time in the nest box, nest scraping, and other courtship related activities.

2020.0322.1-001Incubation usually will not begin until the second to last egg has been laid. In this cool spring weather, with night time temps in the low 30’s, the female will spend some time incubating the egg, but it may not be a non-stop effort! The female has a silver federal leg band on her right leg; and a black over green 38/BV band on her left leg.  The male has only a silver right leg band and no band on his left leg.

Lawrence Peregrines: almost a week!

April 11, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

Had a nice opportunity to watch the female in the nest box this morning.  Just before 7AM, she raised herself up a bit and changed positions but remained over the 4 eggs.  Then at 7:07AM, she departed for a few minutes and returned to the box, and then back to incubating the eggs. During incubation, an observer may spend lots of time watching very little activity.  The peregrines take turns brooding the eggs. Typically, the female incubates about 2/3 of the time, often for four or more hours before the male relieves her. Males brood for shorter periods– typically 2 to 3 hours, and they brood less frequently. While one adult is brooding, the other may be out hunting. Brooding falcons still need to eat, after all. If they’re not hunting, the other falcon usually stays close to the nest.  The photo on the left shows the female sitting on eggs quietly and with great comfort.  She will adjust as she needs to but is not fidgety as the male tends to be!

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Sometimes while the female is brooding the eggs, the male will bring her food that he has hunted. She’ll eat the food, sometimes inside, and other times, outside the nest box while he takes a turn incubating, but then she’ll come back and take over– provided she can get him to move off the eggs. If he doesn’t move right away, she may stand in the nest box and wail at him. Wailing has different meanings for falcons, but in general it indicates dissatisfaction with the current situation.  Here they are together, inside the nest box at around 10:35 AM today, and she is wailing on him big time.

IMG_9571So if this female wails at her guy while he’s incubating, or in the nest box it’s her way of telling him she’s not happy that he’s still standing around, or sitting on the eggs. As with most other interactions between male and female peregrines, the female usually gets her way, though sometimes it takes a while for him to get the message!  Guess who’s usually walking away, with his head bowed low, after getting wailed at….the male!

Lawrence Peregrines: Egg #4!

April 5, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

2019.0405-001Checked on the nest box just after 6AM this morning under fair skies, wind from west at 9MPH, and temp at 31F. The forecast for today calls for mostly cloudy skies, with a high near 47. Light and variable winds becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. For tonight, rain and snow likely before 1am, then rain. Low around 36. South wind 6 to 8 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

After waiting almost an hour for a look this morning, the adults had a shift change at 6:53AM and this provided a quick peek at the 4th egg!  This egg was likely laid at some point overnight.  Had kept a close eye early evening last night and had a clear sighting of just 3 eggs just before sunset, with little egg laying movement seen up until dark settled in.

So now, the Peregrines shift into full and shared incubation duties that will last the next 30 days or so!  We are about a week ahead of last year’s egg laying time frame. With God’s grace the circle of life continues!

Lawrence Peregrines: Egg #2!

March 31, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

The morning started off under mostly cloudy skies, wind from the south at 12MPH and gusts up to 23MPH, and temp at a balmy 57F.  The forecast calls for showers, mainly after 1pm. High near 63. South wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

2019.0331The female was observed inside the nest box just after 7AM this morning, both standing over the first egg and then nestled down lower in incubation mode.  She constantly looked around and also vocalized a bit at times. The wind circulated just enough inside the nest box to move her feathers around while she incubated the egg.  In prior years, the first egg would be left for longer periods unattended, but this year seems to be getting more active attention.  As an observer, you may have to keep watching for a while until she lifts up off the egg and takes a break!

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Checked back in later in the afternoon and the second egg had yet to appear and then checked back just before 6PM and the second egg was seen when she lifted up for a few moments and took off for a bathroom break! We’ll look for the next egg to be laid, hopefully on Tuesday afternoon!

Lawrence Peregrines: first egg!

March 29, 2019 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

After many visits in and around the Clock Tower and many looks through the web cam, including earlier today, what a nice surprise to check in this afternoon and find the first egg laid for 2019!

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Finally after waiting and waiting, the female laid her first egg this today!. Her behavior was very consistent with the general lethargy that a female falcon typically experiences in the few days prior to laying the first egg. In many cases this lethargy may last a week or longer. She lazes around and spends lots of time in the nest box, nest scraping, and other courtship related activities.

Incubation usually will not begin until the second to last egg has been laid. In this cool spring weather, with night time temps in the low 30’s, the female will spend some time incubating the egg, but it may not be a non-stop effort!

The female has a silver federal leg band on her right leg; and a black over green 38/BV band on her left leg.  The male has only a silver right leg band and no band on his left leg.

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Lawrence Peregrines: feeding time!

May 16, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

The three chicks started off the morning under fair skies, calm winds, and temp at 56F.  The forecast for the day ahead calls for partly sunny, with a high near 61. East wind 3 to 8 mph.  Had nice looks at morning feeding session just after 5:30 AM, and the three chicks were very hungry and eager to gobble up the offered prey from the female.  The fourth and final egg remains unhatched.  Hopefully it will hatch some later today!

2018.0516-001Most brooding of the small young is performed by the female, though the male occasionally takes short turns.  No attempt is made to share brooding simultaneously.  Apart from weaker motivation for brooding, a male still has greater difficulty in covering a full brood of chicks than a clutch of eggs. Although the actions of the brooding falcon are essentially similar to those of an incubating bird, there are slight and gradual adjustments appropriate to the change of covering delicate but growing nestlings.  Leaning forward and stepping around gradually cease, but shuffling movements become important, evidently to place the feet below the chicks.  Rocking stops on hatching, and other settling motions are replaced by gentle lowering of the body onto the nestlings.

Literature cited:

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

Lawrence Peregrines: #3 Hatch!!

May 15, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines

2018.0515.2-001Had a nice chance to watch the peregrine chicks at noon today.  Hoping to get a glimpse under the incubating female for an update on number of hatchlings.  At this point almost 48 hours has passed since the second egg hatched, and the clock is ticking!  Finally, at 12:05 PM, the male entered the nest box bearing lunch and the two engaged in a classic food exchange.  In the process the female rose up and off the eggs, providing a clear view of the two hatchlings and the two remaining eggs.  It also meant we might be closer to the third egg hatching later in the day.  If we look back, the third egg was laid almost 72 hours after egg number two, so we are right in the zone for the next hatch to take place.

 

2018.0515.3-001Was only able to get a brief look a few times during the afternoon, and each time, no movement off the eggs.  Checked at 5:22 PM while driving home, and to my great delight, the female had departed and the nest was wide open.  A quick survey showed a clump of white in the middle, two broken shell halves nearby, and what looked to be a final intact shell in the foreground…the third chick had hatched and joined the brood.

 

 

2018.0515.4-001A few moments later, the female arrived into the nest box bearing prey and she started to feed the three chicks!  What a beautiful sight!  The tenderness and care that the female shows while feeding these little ones is so very special.  She is turning her head and craning her neck so that the little chicks will receive the food that they need and that will help them grow!

 

 

2018.0515.5-001The last image, and perhaps, favorite of the day, shows the three little newly hatched chicks eagerly stretching their necks forward and gaping tier mouths to receive the fresh pray from mother bear.  Given the amazing process of carefully incubating these eggs over the last month, we now have front row seats to watch this year’s family start their lives with love, care, and tenderness from very attentive parents!  This truly is the circle of life in the animal kingdom and it is always a precious sight to behold!

 

 

Literature cited:

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