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!

Peregrine Falcons: East Cambridge pair

June 14, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I0151-001Here is a look at the female on watch at the nest box with the male nearby.  From a distance, only one chick has been visible and is close to fledge time!

Peregrine Falcons: Watertown

June 13, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I0116-001Made a visit to look at the Peregrine Falcons in Watertown.  It was just as a heat wave was subsiding and the late temp was moving down into the high 70’s.  One of the adults was seen on a ledge, on the SW corner of the building.  It was still panting from the heat and keeping it’s wings a bit spread and lifted up to keep cool.  Another adult was nearby and one chick, had fledged and was on a lower ledge beneath the nest box.

Lawrence Peregrines: eggs week #2!

April 19, 2017 in In the Nest Box

LP4.19.2017As the incubation process continues, many have asked for more specifics about how it all works?

Heat makes the eggs start developing. When the eggs reach about 98.6°F, or 37°C the egg begins changing into an eyas. Conveniently enough, a Peregrine’s natural body temperature is about 103°F, or 39.5°C, so to heat up the eggs all they need to do is to get some of that body heat onto the eggs. Now, a Peregrine’s feathers make very good insulation. That’s how they can stand to stay out in cold temperatures without freezing to death. But while those feathers keep the cold air away from the falcon’s skin, they also keep their body heat from getting out. So to incubate the eggs, the Peregrine carefully settles down, shifting from side to side to get the eggs beneath their feathers. Falcons have brood patches, areas on their breasts with a lot of blood vessels close to the surface of their skin. The blood vessels concentrate their body heat, making it easier to transfer the heat to the eggs. Both adults have brood patches, though his are smaller than hers, which makes sense since he’s a smaller bird.

LP.4.19.2017.2-001Peregrines incubate their eggs for 29 to 33 days. In the early days of brooding it’s important to keep the eggs as close to their ideal incubating temperature as possible. Too hot or too cool and the eggs won’t develop properly. Later in the incubation process, proper temperature isn’t quite as important. In fact, after a couple of weeks the falcons will be able to leave the eggs uncovered for longer periods of time. Sometimes leaving the eggs uncovered frequently, or for long periods can mean that the eggs hatch a few days later than normal. For the Lawrence Peregrines, their nest box is in a place where it’s not likely to be disturbed, so they most often incubate steadily until the eggs hatch.

Peregrine Falcon: Lowell

April 18, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I5691-001The peregrine falcon reports keep rolling in with growing locations and sightings all around Greater Boston area!  A peregrine has been spotted a few times in Lowell near Rt. 495 and sure enough it was perched on the outer corner of a commercial building in dazzling late day sun under clear skies and seasonal temps.  It was solo and no sign of a mate nearby.  Will keep an eye on this location in hopes that a nest has been started or will be soon!

Peregrine Falcons: Watertown breeding pair!

April 17, 2017 in Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts

_W7I5313-001Made a visit to Watertown tonight in search of a pair of breeding Peregrine Falcons that had been reported recently by friends.  The pair has been in residence for the past few years and have a well located nest box in the penthouse section of an office building with wonderful views.  The night was mostly cloudy with some breaks with bright sunlight bursting through for some nice photos.

It was near sunset and the light was starting to fade a bit, with winds from the west at 16MPH, gusts over 20MPH, and temps in upper 60F.  Both adults were seen in flight and perched around the building envelope.  A falcon cam is in place but malfunctioned prior to egg laying so no date certainty on start of eggs being laid…stay tuned!

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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!

 

 

 

Lawrence Peregrine Falcons: female ready to land!

April 10, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I4126-001Made a later afternoon visit to the west side of the Clock Tower and found the female in flight and landing mode a number of times around the NW corner of the below the clock face.  The skies were clear with bright late day sun, light winds front he SW, and temps just below 50F.  No doubt the female is stretching her wings after hours incubating 4 eggs!