Feb 10 2010

Not Shy… Right Now

Published by at 7:08 am under Peregrines

Peregrine at Tarentum (photo by Steve Gosser)
Peregrine nesting season is coming soon and our local birds are showing it.

When peregrines court they are very noticeable.  Lone peregrines with a territory but no mate fly conspicuously to advertise their availability.  Peregrines with both a nest and a mate engage in dramatic courtship flights to signal that their site is taken.  In both cases they mean to be seen.

The best time to observe this behavior in southwestern Pennsylvania is during February and March so, despite the snow last Sunday, Steve Gosser went down to the Tarentum Bridge where he'd seen a pair of peregrine falcons a year ago.  And there they were.

According to Steve, "they both came perching on a beam practically right above where I was standing."  He got some great photos (this is one of them) and confirmed that this is the same pair Dan Yagusic identified at the bridge on December 20.  Their continued presence is a good sign they intend to nest there.

Conspicuous peregrine activity lasts until the female lays eggs (late March or early April).  Then they become quite secretive and if you didn't watch carefully you'd think they were gone.

So make the effort in the next two months to watch for peregrine falcons near potential nest sites.  You won't be disappointed.  The peregrines aren't shy ... for now.

(photo by Steve Gosser)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Not Shy… Right Now”

  1. Carol P.on 10 Feb 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Kate, has this Peregrine been ID’d? I noticed the yellow tape over the USFW band. This is something the DEC does for the Rochester Watchers to help us keep track of the fledglings after they leave the nest box. Thanks, Carol P, Rochester, NY

  2. Kate St. Johnon 10 Feb 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Yes, she and her mate are described here:

  3. faith Cornellon 10 Feb 2010 at 1:53 pm

    What nice new stories & adventures to take our minds off the “SNOW ????). The news today said 63% of the USA is snow covered. Faith Cornell

  4. Tracion 15 Feb 2010 at 11:23 am

    Speaking of snow – I am just checking out the live cam for the Gulf Tower
    And I’m seeing one of the Peregrines for the first time since the other cam went offline!! Whoo Hoo!! Whoever it is, is sitting on the window ledge watching whatever is going on in that office! I would LOVE to be that close!!

    The snow is so high, I was shocked that I’d actually see one!! Just awesome!!
    Does anybody know which it would be – Louie or Tasha??

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