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

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.

Peregrine Falcon: Haverhill fledgling!

June 10, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I0552-002One of the fledglings in Haverhill found a comfortable ledge on the bridge for loafing and snoozing.  This chick showed little concern for passing traffic and less frequent passing pedestrians.  The ledge, in the middle of the bridge on the west side, was just right for snoozing in the sun.  It would sit up for a bit and then lay back down. Mom was nearby perched on a branch in a tree on the south side of the Merrimack River.  A few remaining white down feathers are seen on the crown and sides of this young falcon.

Peregrine Falcon chick: Haverhill

June 8, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I0507-001Made a visit to check on the peregrine falcon chicks under the bridge in Haverhill.  Looks like one of the chicks has fledged, with three still to fledge.  The smallest remains on the nest ledge in the dark.  The other larger two chicks were seen at the east end of the bridge on a large catching some sun and loafing around.  This chick walked back and forth a few times and then settled again, and laid down in the sun!

Peregrine Falcon: in flight Haverhill

June 8, 2016 in Peregrine Falcons Haverhill

_W7I0429-002The female peregrine in Haverhill continues to keep a tight patrol around the fledglings and the still to fledge chicks under the bridge in Haverhill.  She makes regular aerial loops close to the bridge, sometimes due to pedestrian traffic, car horns, nearby construction equipment, or motor boats going under that section of the bridge!