Lawrence Peregrines: pair bonding underway!

February 12, 2018 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I7077-001Made a morning run by the Clock Tower in search of the Lawrence Peregrines. Mostly cloudy, wind from NW at 9MPH, and temp around 42F.

The female was perched on the short but prominent steel beam on south side of Merrimack Street near intersection with Union Street. This is a very regular perch location in the morning, as the weather warms up.

 _W7I7129-001She was midway through a morning snack, when the male zoomed in and snatched the goodies….pair bonding underway!

Lawrence Peregrines: Verizon Cell Tower!

November 10, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Verizon Cell Tower

_W7I6768-001As the late fall temperatures drop below 30 degrees, the Peregrines start to spend more time at the nearby Verizon Cell Tower near the corner of Hampshire and Canal Streets.  They tend to perch on the fifth and sixth floor ledges located on the south side of the building.  These ledges are next to hot air exhaust vents.  These vents provide excellent heat during the colder months.

Found both adults happily perched near one another on sixth floor ledges in late afternoon.

Lawrence Peregrines: around Clock Tower

November 9, 2017 in Near the Clock Tower

_W7I6692-001The Lawrence Peregrines continue to loaf and enjoy the cooler fall days around the extended Clock Tower area.  Located the adult male this morning on one of the triangular roof pediments.  The morning was filled with bright sun, cobalt blue skies, light wind from the SE, and temps just over 50F.  The male looked a bit bedraggled with feathers blowing in the wind.  The female was nearby on the wets side of Clock Tower on a ledge above the clock face.

 

 

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Lawrence Peregrines: male 6/4

October 30, 2017 in lawrence peregrines, Near the Clock Tower

_W7I5920-001Made a late afternoon pass by the Ayer Mill Clock Tower for a brief look at the peregrine falcons.  While scanning for the peregrines, noticed hundreds of American crows streaming into the area west of the New Balance building complex and preparing for their overnight winter roost.  In the midst of the crow chaos, noticed a single peregrine buzzing a few of the crows.  The peregrine landed on a number of lower than normal rooftop perch locations, perhaps to take a run at some of the crows.  As it perched atop the roof of B&D Advanced Warehousing Corp. building in fading sunlight.  As it moved around just a bit while perched, the bi-colored alpha-numeric leg bands were exposed.  It was the male with the black over green 6/4 left leg band!

Lawrence Peregrines: preening and rousing

October 3, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

Made a late afternoon visit to the Clock Tower under clear skies, bright late day sun, light winds from the SE, and temp at 64F.  The adult male had just returned to a ledge on the NW corner below the clock face.

_W7I9115-001One thing the peregrine falcon does a lot is preening. Many hours each day is spent on the care of feathers, beak, cere and feet. Sometimes it seems like pure vanity, but it is in fact a necessity. Without well preened feathers the peregrine could become soaking wet when it rains, become ill and die. Or feathers that are not well groomed will cause drag when flying. When preening birds run their beaks through their feathers or scratching their heads with a toe.

_W7I9106-001Rousing is the the action of a peregrine erecting its feathers and then shaking them; part of grooming; a sign of a relaxed and content bird. Peregrines typically rouse (shake) after preening; also rouse during flight, particularly after leaving perch (unless to initiate a pursuit).

Lawrence Peregrines: adult male on upper ledge

August 28, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I4799-001Made a short visit to the Clock Tower with little to see upon arrival.  A few passing gulls and Double-crested Cormorants in flight over the Merrimack River.  Then a bolt of speed came in from the NW with a definitive flight pattern that could only belong to a peregrine.  Sure enough, the adult male arrived and with legs outstretched, landed on an upper ledge, above the west clock face, and in the shade.

Two Peregrine adults and one fledgling at Clock Tower

August 14, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I4114-001The 2017 hatch year fledglings made first flight almost 8 weeks ago.  Three of the fledglings have been seen regularly around the Clock Tower.  The first fledgling left and has not been seen since fledging.  At this stage of growth, parents provide two important things to the young falcons: predator protection as well as food supply.  Here, the adult female remains on guard for any predator threats.

 

 

_W7I4144-001The protection continues, but the food supply, as provided by the parents, begins to dwindle as they improve their ability to chase and capture prey.  The falcon experts suggest that most young peregrine falcons disperse on their own once they have become proficient at killing on their own.  This young peregrine may be the only one left around the natal site!

2017 Fledgling Peregrine Falcon

August 7, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I3938-001As the weeks move by, three of the four young peregrines that fledged this year continue to be seen around the Clock Tower and other nearby perch locations.  They remain somewhat dependent on parents for food and protection.  This was a late afternoon visit with one of the fledglings perched on the west side of the tower on an upper ledge just above the clock face.  No luck on being able to catch the leg bands for a positive ID!

Peregrine Falcon fledgling: Verizon Tower!

August 7, 2017 in Verizon Cell Tower

_W7I3895-001While scanning for Peregrine Falcons from near the Clock Tower mid-morning, saw a perched bird on the Verizon Cell Tower on Hampshire Street and made way over for a better look.  It was cloudy and overcast, but was able to get nice looks at one of the fledglings. It had a color-coded leg band but was unable to make out the alphanumeric code.  The fledglings usually find their way over to the Cell Tower after fledging for visits from time to time!

Day 35: Exercising the wing muscles!!

June 16, 2017 in In the Nest Box

2017.0616-001On rare occasions male peregrines may take flight as young as 35 days, which is possible as they are fully developed at this age.  Usually they wait a few more days though, until their wing muscles are stronger through exercise in the nest area, and generally by the time they do take flight they have lost the last tufts of down.