Thursday, November 12, 2009

Downtown Peregrine Falcons and Local Red-tailed Hawks

Downtown Worcester has quieted down some since the juvenile Peregrine Falcon's have left town but the adults still remain. In fact, I see them more now than when they were nesting because they have moved away from the nest box, and spend most of their time around City Hall and the Flagship building. I'm guessing this is where they like to be after nesting as this is where they were when I started tracking them this past February. Once the urge to mate and nest takes over, off they go to the Unum building where they will stay until their young leave and they are on their own again.
I'm not totally certain this is the female, but guessing here based on her size as well as her overall behaviour when I was watching her yesterday over near the Catholic Church next to the Flagship Building. Gone is her fierce, protective maternal instinct as she spends much of her time on top of this cross where she likes to preen or next to the male on the Flagship logo.
The only time there is any drama now is when one of them decides to score themselves a little lunch and then chaos erupts as Rock Pigeons take to the sky determined not to be on the menu. I try and get pictures, but the falcons are too fast. They have shallow yet powerful wing beats and the speed of their flight gets them from point A to point B in a matter of milliseconds and I'm not quick enough with the camera yet to capture it, but enjoy it just the same with my binoculars.
After a while neither the pigeons nor the falcons are in the air anymore and there is one less pigeon on the ledge who had the misfortune of being too slow. The rest go on their favorite spot which is right near the bus stop waiting for the man who brings them stale bagels every afternoon and throws them whole onto the lawn of the 446 Main Street building. Swarms of Rock Pigeons, House Sparrows and European Starling arrive and fight amongst themselves and others for their fair share as the Peregrine Falcon sits on top of the Flagship logo having its own lunch. This is the bird world that goes on in urban downtown Worcester and a world that most don't see for they are too busy running for the bus, texting their friend or being hauled into the paddy wagon, I will take this world any day over the later.
Picture from July right across Crompton Park

The Red-tailed Hawks I blogged about in the past and took pictures of in July near Crompton Park are frequently around too. I saw them today with my binoculars over near the park where they would circle and soar in the air for a while and then kite. There are still two of them and they have been expanding their range a little closer to downtown some since the Peregrines have ceased beings so territorial. It will be interesting to see if they stick around all winter. My guess is they will as that area is their home base and are probably the two I saw last February.

Just thought I would give an update on the falcons. Take care all.


Rich said...


Great cross pictures with the bird.

Story is great too.

Saturday will have good weather! Saturday will have good weather!
Saturday will have good weather!
Saturday will have good weather!
Saturday will have good weather!

The Early Birder said...

Thanks for the informative update Kim. Have a great weekend. FAB.

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