Peregrine Falcon: Woburn chase scene!

September 28, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I7913-001After arrival in the general quarry area, it took a while to locate the male.  He was well hidden behind a small clump of weeds growing out of the rocks.  A number of local pigeons were active flying around the quarry.  It was partly sunny, with winds from the north at 15MPH and the temp was 73F.  Without much warning, the male launched into flight in a springboard takeoff in pursuit of the pigeons.



_W7I8040-001He made a half-hearted chase and then looped back around to land at the nest ledge!  He remained vigilant in watching the continuing pigeon flight activity!

Lawrence Peregrines: ready to fledge

June 12, 2017 in In the Nest Box

_W7I9852-001During a late afternoon visit to observe the nest box action, had a wonderful opportunity to see the chicks moving around the outer ledge of the nest box.  As happens at this stage of growth, there was lots of wing flapping and movement by the chicks.

Of particular note was watching the female go out on the perch a number of times and show the chicks how to do so.  she demonstrated how to balance and not fall off.  Then she took off into flight in to the west.  As she lifted off, her talons remained out, not tucked under in normal streamline fashion.

_W7I9895-001She was making a very short flight to a nearby rooftop to show the nestlings how to prepare for first flight!  she remained on the roof for a few minutes and then took off in a flash.

Lawrence Peregrines: unbanded female

December 16, 2016 in Verizon Cell Tower

_w7i3238-001Made a pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower this afternoon about an hour before sunset in search of the peregrine falcons.  The wind was light, out of the west with the temp about 17 degrees and a wind chill making it feel about 8 degrees.  At these temperature levels, the peregrines will shift over to the hot air vents on the south side of the Verizon Communications Tower on Canal St. between Hampshire and Franklin Streets. Sure enough, found the female perched on one of the upper vent ledges.  Just happened to catch the peregrine take off in flight into the fading late day sun, with less than an hour of sunlight left in the day.  It circled four times and landed on the NW corner of the roof and then flew off and landed again with a closer look!  The male arrived and perched on a nearby hot air vent ledge.

For those with an interest, four photos posted:

Lawrence Peregrines: mock combat!

July 13, 2016 in Near the Clock Tower

Stopped by the Clock Tower in Lawrence last night just after 5:30 pm. Terrific late day light with clear skies,
winds blowing around 15 MPH with gusts over 20 MPH, and temperature about 90 degrees.

Observed one of the peregrine fledglings in aerial flight with large loops and infrequent diving stoops. Quite
an exciting show from the young fledgling. To my surprise, another fledgling joined the fun and the real show
got underway!

For over 20 minutes, they proceeded to engage in an amazing demonstration of playful mock combat. Here is
an explanation of mock combat from Cornell’s Birds of North America:

Play occurs mainly in young. Immatures will pursue adults, siblings, prey, and attack inanimate objects.
Playful pursuit of siblings begins 2–3 d after first flight, mock combat between siblings begins 4–5 d after.

Mock combat progresses from flying parallel and occasionally rolling to extend feet toward siblings, to making
short darting dives and grappling in the air, to using air currents to make vertical stoops. Latter develops within 3 wk of flying. Play in falcons may be an expression of joie de vivre or it may simply represent the maturation of neuro-muscular coordination and central control mechanisms involved in agonistic behavior and pursuit and
capture of prey.

For those with an interest, 11 mock combat flight photos posted:
Click “next” in upper right to advance frames

Lawrence Peregrines: fledglings flapping away!

June 15, 2016 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

CF2C5647-001After fledging the young peregrine falcons continue to work at strengthening their flight muscles.  They are frequently seen near the natal site flapping their wings and preparing for increasingly longer flights around the local area.  This young fledgling was seen with two other siblings on the corner of a rooftop of an abandoned building in the late day sun!  Notice the leg bands, black over green, 85/BS.

5 photos of the flapping fledgling:

Lawrence Peregrines: fledgling flight maneuvers!

June 14, 2016 in Near the Clock Tower

CF2C4620-001Like a young child learning to walk, it takes a lot of time and practice for these peregrine falcon fledglings to learn how to land smoothly and gracefully.  Quite a treat to watch three of the fledglings play around on the roof atop the west wing of the New Balance factory complex on Merrimack Street in Lawrence!

4 photos of landing sequence:

It’s important to keep in mind…that all of the falcons have the “equipment” they need to fly and flapping is pure instinct.  What is the hardest part with the initial flights is getting the hang of how to use the equipment they have–how to steer, how to glide, how to lose or gain speed and altitude and otherwise maneuver.  It can be a sharp learning curve regarding landing – honing the above skills as well as figuring out what surfaces are good and easy to land on vs. not.  

And don’t forget all of the glass windows that reflects sky that can be extremely confusing to a young, inexperienced peregrine.  City environments do present unique dangers that a wilderness cliff nest may not, but the urban habitats also have their perks in the way of abundant food, warmth and people on the ground watching out for them should they happen to end up on the ground.

Peregrine male attracting female attention

March 31, 2015 in Near the Clock Tower

Fascinating to watch the peregrines on the Clock Tower this morning as finally the male was attempting to get more attention from the female.  He made a number of flights passing by the female and looking to gain her attention.  For these last few weeks, he has seemed to show little interest compared to her showing interest.  The tables and turned and that may mean eggs very soon!!

Peregrines rooftop perch!

October 30, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

The pair of adult peregrines are seen with almost daily regularity on and around the Clock Tower in Lawrence.  This morning they were perched atop roof pediments located on the southeast corner of the brick building at 200 Merrimack St just above the stoplights at Merrimack and south Union Streets.  It is always a thrill to watch them burst into flight mode and loop around the local area.

For those with an interest, more flight photos posted:   Click “next” upper right corner to advance!


Peregrines around Clock Tower

September 23, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

The Peregrines were both seen this morning in looping flight around the Clock Tower.  It was three years ago this week that they first came to my attention!  They have been a source of fascination and close observation ever since.  This time of year, they seem to have returned from their summer forays, perhaps at Plum Island.  They are seen from here on in with great regularity.

Peregrine Falcon female near nest box

May 20, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

The female peregrine has been spending more time out of the nest box and in a variety of perch locations in proximity of the nest box.  Among her favorite perch locations is atop a nearby utility pole on Merrimack Street just west of the intersection of Union St.

8 photos: