Day 40: #2 ready to fledge

June 22, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

After sunrise at 5:07, the peregrines started this morning off under fair skies, little wind and temp at 56F.  The day ahead calls for sunny skies, with a high near 76. East wind around 6 mph.

The two remaining chicks continue to move around inside the nest box, with time for loafing and resting, enjoying the morning shade, wing flapping, eating, and just getting ready for the moment of first flight.  The female continues to watch over the chicks, sometimes from the perch and other times from just a bit of a distance.

2018.0622.1 2Around 6PM tonight, checked back in and observed one chick in the nest box.  It seemed to look over and just below the nest box.  After a few minutes, a small movement was seen, and it turned out to be the other chick on the ledge right below the nest box.  Ir was moving back and forth, its head just visible, and then hopped up, and back into the nest box, and remained inside.

 

2018.0622.2 2Around 7PM, checked back again, and the ready to fledge chick was seen perched out on the perch pole.  It sat for a while, then hopped back inside the nest box for a while, and just after 7:20 Pm hopped back out onto the perch pole….so ready for first flight!!

 

 

2018.0622.3Many have asked, how do the chicks know when to fledge and make first flight?  What prompts the final push to launch out into the world forms he nest box? From what researchers have observed over the years, there is likely little particular action by the parent peregrines to induce their young to fly. The adults may reduce the food rations at this time, for the young are quite fat. Generally, the chicks fly when they are ready and moved by their own instinct. The first flight can be quite strong, but when it lands on a nearby perch, it may remain for many hours.  Food calls are exchanged, and the parent keeps close tabs from nearby. For a chick that has survived a fall from the nest, the adults will find, feed, and protect the chick until it is ready to fly away.

Literature cited:

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

 

 

 

 

 

Day 39: update!

June 21, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

Made a pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower this morning with a fresh determination to scour the area for the first fledgling.  After first flight, there is no telling if a fledged falcon may have been injured or harmed in some way.  Some times, they find a nearby spot to just rest and loaf a while.  They will call to the parents for food and be cared for as long as they are in range of the nest.  At times, observation of the adults, may provide clues on the location of a nearby newly fledged bird.

_W7I1738-001Just before 10AM, after looking high and low around all sides of the Clock Tower, made the last stop on the north side of the Merrimack River, and scanned the entire Clock Tower and adjacent buildings for any signs of the fledgling. The middle  window sill just below the north clock face seemed to have a dark horizontal sliver that was out of place.  With binocs, it looked like it could possibly be the fledgling.  A close look through the spotting scope confirmed it was the fledgling, but no signs of movement for over two minutes.  Finally it bobbed its head a bit, and provided final confirmation on being alive and seemingly OK!

_W7I1766-001Later in the day, just after 4PM, returned to same location on north side of Merrimack River, looking south at the tower, and the same fledgling was now on a lower ledge, and perched in upright position.  It likely had remained in the shade for a good part of the day, and may have moved little during the day.

 

 

_W7I1801-001The female was around the corner on the nest box perch pole and the other two nestlings were seen inside the nest box.  Had a chance to view the nest box from below just a bit later with nice views of one of the chicks, another in the background, and the female on the pole.  The other two chicks will likely make first flight over the next few days.  Hopefully, the three chicks will remain together and nearby in the weeks ahead!

 

 

 

Fledgling on lower ledge!

June 12, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

After a few days remaining in the nest box, the third and final chick fledged on Thursday.  In the late afternoon, had a nice opportunity to observe the fledgling on a lower ledge closer to Merrimack Street.  It was testing its wings and hopping along a ledge.  Not only a treat to watch from a close vantage point, but also had the chance to observe and document the black/green bicolor leg bands used on peregrines in Eastern United States.  This fledgling has black numbers (59) over green letters (BD).

More photos: http://www.pbase.com/birdshots/image/156086349

There is an international protocol in North America for colored leg bands on Peregrine Falcons. The color indicates the origin or subspecies for chicks banded in the nest. The colors in the protocol and their meaning are:

Red Captive bred
Black/red bicolor Eastern United States
Black/green bicolor Eastern United States
Blue Tundra Peregrines
Black/blue bicolor Tundra or Anatum captured off the breeding grounds or subspecies unknown
Green Peale’s Peregrines
Black Anatum Peregrines

Characters used on the Peregrine bands are letters and numbers, with one character on the top of the band and one character on the bottom of the band. Older bands may have these characters either vertical or tipped ninety degrees to the left. Newer bands have all vertical characters.

Fledgling on nearby ledge!

June 11, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The fledglings continue to be seen in a variety of locations around the Clock Tower with one of first two fledglings remaining for a day on a nearby ledge.  The older fledgling has flown to upper ledges and even atop the weathervane at the top of the Clock Tower!

Peregrine chicks; 2 fledge over weekend!

June 10, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The peregrine chicks took their first flights away from the nest over this past weekend. Not always choosing to or being capable of returning to the nest site, they will be found in different locations around the Clock Tower like these 2 on a nearby lower ledge!

Peregrine fledglings experience the joy of flight!

July 9, 2013 in Peregrines at 250 Canal St.

The fledglings are having a blast learning how to fly.  They have abundant nearby rooftops to practice short hop flights, glides and landings.  You can almosy sense their joy as they make endless short hop flights.  What a pure delight to watch!

5 photos posted:  http://www.pbase.com/birdshots/image/151582749

More Butterfly flight patterns!

June 6, 2012 in Near the Clock Tower

On Wednesday afternoon we finnaly were graced with bright sunshine.  What a joy to watch the peregrine chicks again as they hopped, skipped, jumped and even got airborne at the west end of the New Balance west wing roof.  Fascinating to watch how the parents guard from a safe but close distance.  Kind of like attentive lifeguards at the beach, the adult Peregrines miss nothing!

8 Photos posted: http://www.pbase.com/birdshots/image/143865500  Click “next” in upper right to advance frames.

According to Cornell’s Birds of North America online entry for Peregrines: Flight progresses from Butterfly-Flight (1–2 d after first flight) to Flutter-Glide (3–9 d) to Powered Flight (15–25 d). Butterfly-Flight appears to be weaker form of Flutter-Glide associated with in-complete development of flight feathers and pectoral muscles. Pursuits gradually become more sustained and range farther from nest. Adult pursuit is accompanied by Begging vocalization. During first 2 wk of flight, young birds’ pursuit of parents takes precedence over most other activities. Young will even pursue parents during territorial defense (Sherrod 1983).

As young become more aggressive toward food-delivering parents, adults sometimes begin to drop both dead and live birds in air. Young pursue and catch these items. Has been interpreted as parental training of young to hunt, but may simply be way for parents to avoid being mobbed by hungry young (Sherrod 1983).

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