Peregrine Falcons courtship

March 19, 2015 in Verizon Cell Tower

The Peregrines are keeping it very interesting this breeding season!  The male lost his long time mate as she was sent to Tufts Wildlife and then retired from going back into the wild.  Our long time male with a distinguished breeding legacy attracted a new female friend.  She is unbounded so we are unable to know any history. They have been spending time together and appear to be ready for the breeding season.  They have been seen with some regularity around the Clock Tower and even poking around inside the nestbox.  In an odd twist, they have recently spent time perched on the Verizon Cell Tower which has never been part of the pattern this time in the breeding cycle.  They have also been spotted near the alternate nest site around 250 Canal Street.  So given that eggs should be laid any day, it will be fascinating to see if that happens and where that happens.  Had a chance to see them both perched on adjacent ledges some 25 feet apart late Thursday afternoon.  The female seemed to make every effort to get the male’s attention.  She called and called with no response.  She took off, made a loop right in front of him to get his fuller attention, and returned to her nearby perch.  The male continued with his clear indifference!  Fascinating to watch and can’t wait to see where this goes!  Stay tuned!

11 Photo sequence:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames


Peregrines seen on the Clock Tower together!

February 25, 2015 in On the Clock Tower

The clock is ticking down to the start of the peregrine breeding season.  Since the historic Lawrence matriarch female has been retired to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, the male has attracted a new female friend.  They continue to spend lots of time together.  Initially they have been seen mostly at the Verizon Cell Tower.  Then the female started to be seen solo around the Clock Tower perch locations.  This morning she was perched on one of the ledges above the east clock face while the male was above on one of the window sills just below the base of weather vane also on the east side of the building.  Very encouraging signs as we may be less than 4 weeks away from first eggs being laid!


Peregrines on the Verizon Cell Tower, Lawrence

February 19, 2015 in Verizon Cell Tower

The peregrines are now being seen together more often.  On colder days they are found near the hot air vents on the south side of the Verizon Cell Tower.  They certainly seem to be spending more time together and it sure seems like love is in the air between these two!  Here the keep an eye on each other from nearby perch locations!







Peregrines copulating again!

March 9, 2014 in On the Clock Tower

The peregrines continue in copulation mode.  Had a short opportunity to fly by on Sunday night just before sunset and observed them both make aerial loops prior to the action on the back end of the Clock Tower weathervane.  They remained together for 9 seconds suggesting that the date for eggs is close and at this point possibly next week around March 20th…the first day of spring!

Peregrines in copulation mode

March 8, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

What a blessing to be able to observe, monitor, and document the Lawrence Peregrines over the last 2.5 years.  As an update from prior post, the peregrines continue to both be seen daily around the Clock Tower on Merrimack St. in Lawrence.  On Tuesday morning, had a strong feeling to dedicate extra time before work to stop, wait, and observe.  Just a few minutes before departing, the male peregrine went flying by and then landed on a perch. In an unusual twist, the male then changed perch locations 3 times in a few minutes.  He then perched on a stub iron beam just below the roof line above the loading docks at 200 Merrimack St.  This a is a regular perch.  To my surprise, another peregrine call emerged and really caught my attention!  The female was perched 2 floors below.  I’m thinking that……this could become interesting!  The female continued to call, turned her head, and many times looked up at the male while calling. Well, it is that time of year, and I’ve been fortunate to observe this pair in copulation mode in prior years.

From the Cornell Labs Birds of North America Online, here is a very accurate description of the peregrine copulation sequence: “Either sex solicits copulation.  Elements of solicitation displays may begin 3 weeks prior to copulation.  Female solicitation begins with vertical head-low bow accompanied by a whine when male is still at a distance.  As male approaches, female assumes horizontal head-low posture perpendicular to or facing away from male with panel feathers raised, accompanied by whine, and may be held up to 30 seconds.  The male mounts from the air.  He flies in and prepares to mount.

The female sleeks her feathers, crouches and leans forward and may move her tail up and to the side. During copulation, the female is at a 45 degree angle with wings slightly lifted and extended from elbow, sometimes with her tail partly spread.The male maintains an upright position during copulation by flapping high above his body and balancing on his tarsi with closed toes and feet turned inward.  The male chitters while she gives a copulatory wail.  It is fairly loud.

Completed copulations begin at least 2 weeks prior to egg laying.  During completed copulations, full cloacal contact ranges about 5 seconds earlier in the season, then up to 10 seconds.  The copulation activity is normally conducted in close proximity to the nest.  Copulations continue until the final egg is laid.” This sequence was exactly 10 seconds based on the time stamp on the photos!

For those with an interest, full photo sequence posted:




Peregrines: food transfer

March 5, 2014 in Near the Clock Tower

Classic food transfer just after sunset on a cloudy evening.  According to Cornell Birds of North American Online:  Transfer of food between mates (courtship feeding) may occur on ground or in air, but typically from male to female. Either sex initiates transfer. On ground, female solicits transfers with Vertical Head-Low Bow accompanied by a Food Wail. If male has food, female may also use eechup . Alternatively, female assumes posture of Begging juvenile, crouching, spreading tail, fluffing feathers, quivering wings, giving Beg vocalization or perches in fluffed upright posture, and Wails.

Peregrine pair mating continues!

March 8, 2012 in On the Clock Tower

The Peregrines continue the mating process.  Stopped the nest box on Wed. morning and the the female was resting on a NW ledge near the nest box.  The male was perched on the window sill in the nest box.  The male swooped out of the nest box and made a few aerial swirls with both peregrines calling out loud.  The male then approached the female on the ledge.  The male carefully approached the female from the air, landed and then mounted the female. 



The copulation lasted about ten seconds before the male flew away to a nearby perch.