Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Downtown Worcester Juvenile Peregrine Falcon Update

Downtown Worcester has gotten a lot more lively now that the juvenile Peregrine Falcons have learned to use those wings of theirs.  Their Indian like war cry echos around City Hall as they fly around like whips causing terror to the Rock Pigeon population and bewilderment to the public who can't help but to scan the skies trying to figure out who the culprits are.

I of course know the sound and whenever I hear it, I'm on high alert trying to figure out their general location.  More often than not it's while I'm in my office but this morning I'd be on my way back from coffee and realize it was fairly close and was very happy to see one of them land on top of the 446 Main Street building.  Suddenly my leisurely pace quickened as I ran back to my desk to drop off the coffee, pick up my binoculars and camera, and make it up to the 24th floor without them leaving. All elevators would be occupied so I'd grab the service elevator to not waste one precious second.

I'd make it up there and this is what I'd see.

 Swoon.  Seriously, I had given up on getting close looks at these birds this year now they are no longer nesting on the Unum building so this was like my reward for all of my grief last week in trying to track them all!

I'd see the other one a short time after that where it appeared to be drinking from a puddle and just finishing up breakfast that I'm guessing to be leftover pigeon.
Soon the other would drop from the ledge to follow her brother much to my delight as they were coming closer to me!

As the male made his way to the object above while squacking up a storm.

Still squacking and getting closer.

And closer!

With the female right along side it.

Still squacking!

The falcon would continue to walk my way and finally make its way to the corner to allow me the killer look I wanted so badly.

And big sis would follow

Little "Miss Fancy Pants"!

You have no idea how hard I was trying to not a giggle at this point seriously!

They would now be out of view so I had to go search for them again but they wouldn't stray to far.

More squacking practice!

After a while the female would get tired and rest her eyes a bit and the male would stop squacking I'm guessing in an effort to be polite.

After a while the male would get bored and leave the snoozing female to explore some more.

And I'd of course follow.  Can only picture what he was thinking at this point as we'd finally make eye contact.  Yes it's me, the woman who's been stalking you, we meet at last!

Allowing me a nice picture of its side profile.

But still glancing at me on occasion to try and figure out just what the hell I am!  Note, I am in the building but the bird can see me through the window.

I'd glance over at the other falcon who would still be in dream land

The falcon would move again and get closer to me.

He has the same eyes as his father but blue.  Double Swoon!

Preening time!

Hearing something from the skies and trying to figure out what it is.

Looking my way to make sure it wasn't me!

You'll notice I'm identifying these birds by gender and that's because I've been exchanging emails (along with pics to Tom from Fish and Wildlife) and he confirmed what I thought and that is two females and one male.  The largest of the juves (and the 1st to fledge), wouldn't be with them, but I'm guessing it may have been with the parents as neither of them was around.

Let me tell you, the 24th floor to my building has been a saving grace this year.  I'm very fortunate it remains unoccupied which allows me to go where ever they wonder.

This was once home to the Plaza Club which was a swanky restaurant and bar in the 70's and 80's due to it's nice view of downtown Worcester, especially at night when the sky was lit up

The area where the Peregrine's like to loaf the most

And the lobby, like I said, very 1970s!

View of Mount Wachusett.  Funny thing was that I was looking at this building from that exact spot just this past Sunday!

And the Green Hill Golf Course, where you can actually see the golfers.  Not a bad way to spend the day before the 4th, if you have the attention span for it which I don't.  I do for birding though, go figure.....

And speaking of birding, I'd do some of that after work last evening in an attempt to find a Black-billed Cuckoo as I'd love to get both species in one year which I haven't done yet.  I'd head to Brierly and make my way to the woods when I'd hear yet another call I couldn't identify so I'd scan the area to try and figure out what it was.  The first thing I'd pick up on as the fact that it reminded me of the Yellow Wabler call which I think of as sounding kind of like a kiss.

This kiss would be longer though which is my kind of kiss so I just had to find out who the culprit was!

I'd finally see it move and find out it would be a very cute little Ovenbird who would actually be quiet and visible for a change.

So wishing the lighting was better as this bird was so cooperative and tame, I would have gotten some really nice photos.

No Black-billed Cuckoo of course, but I did get a really good look at quite a few Veery's which is always nice.

Take care all and I hope you all have a nice 4th of July.  I'm headed north to get away from the heat and the bugs!

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