Peregrine Falcons: copulating in Woburn!

March 18, 2018 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

_W7I3264-001Made a short stop to observe the Peregrine Falcons in Woburn this morning.  Upon arrival, stopped initially at quite a distance to focus binoculars on the female.  She was perched on an upper ledge well to the west of the nest ledge.  Moments later, from out of sight, the male launched into a big swooping dive and then moved up towards the female.  He approached her from the air and landed on her back with clenching his talons in a ball and resting on his tarsi.

Typically, as the male prepares to mount, the female sleeks feathers, crouches, and leans forward, and may move her tail up and to side. During copulation, the female is normally at an angle of about 45° with wings slightly lifted and extended (from elbow), sometimes tail partly spread. The male makes every effort to maintain an upright position throughout copulation by flapping wings high above body and balancing on his tarsi with closed toes and feet turned inward. During copulation, the male’s neck is extended and curved; he chitters while she gives copulatory wail.

After close to ten seconds, the male departed and landed in the nest ledge and the female remained in place.

Reference cited:

White, Clayton M., Nancy J. Clum, Tom J. Cade and W. Grainger Hunt. 2002. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.


Peregrine Falcons: Woburn copulation

March 28, 2017 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

_W7I8382-001During copulation the female is pitched forward, making an angle of about 45 degrees with respect to the perch.  The copulation wail is clearly heard nearby.  As the male mounts, the female spreads her wings at the elbow, about one fourth open.  The tail, up and to the side, may be partly spread.

The male flap his wings constantly during copulation, maintaining an upright posture with the neck extended and best in a curve.  the male may give a burst or bursts of the chitter vocalization just before, during, or after mounting.  The entire copulation process may last as long as ten seconds, and then the male departs.





Peregrine Falcons: Woburn – Copulating!

April 18, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C7788-001Made an early visit to observe the Woburn Falcons and found the female hunkered down in incubation mode.  She may have laid one or two eggs at this point.  Also had a chance to observe further copulation activity. Typically the copulation activity ends after the third egg is laid, so we may be close to the end of the egg laying cycle!

Peregrines: Woburn – female incubating eggs!

April 16, 2016 in Peregrine Falcon Woburn

CF2C7543-001After months of speculation among the local peregrine watchers about whether these falcon would form a pair bond; and after many weeks of observed and reported copulation activity between the unbanded male, and the not quite yet one year old banded female, it looks very much like the first eggs have been laid and the the incubation process has started.

With Peregrine Falcons, it is normal for first-time egg layers to start a bit later in the season. The eggs are laid normally about 48 hours apart, but it can be as long as 72 hours apart. Usually, full-time incubation starts after the second to last (penultimate) egg has been laid. In many nests, the female handles the incubation duties around 2/3’s of the total time with the male taking up the balance and providing the female with time off the nest.