Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb 22nd: More Of The Same

I arrived on Sunday afternoon to my favorite PEFA viewing spot just as the clouds were thinning after the morning's uneventful snow. On my way down to the beach with my scope, camera and binoculars, I had hopes of again seeing the falcons perform their Blue Angel-like aerial show.At first, my quick scan offered no sightings of the Peregrines. But just as I was about to pack up and head home, I heard the female scream. She was directly above me. She, the larger of the two Peregrines, must have snuck on to her perch in the tree top while I was scanning the river. How very stealthy of her.The male Peregrine, known as a TIERCEL, flew in to prove to her that he is her one and only. The two falcons copulated for the second (witnessed) time this weekend, and then he went to grab a beer with his buddies and watch the game. Lucky bird. I'm kidding of course. He did fly off and I was unable to relocate him. Truth be told, I really can't prove that he wasn't watching the game and drinking some beers... you know those tiercels.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: Just after she let out her scream, I pointed my camera straight up and started shooting with my camera.It would appear from this photo (above) that she is trying to bite her partner, no?I was able to get a few more photos before she flew off to join her man for an early dinner. I think Grackle may have been on the menu. On the way home in my car, I saw one of them slicing through the skies, diving exceptionally fast into a large flock of those recently-arrived blackbirds.Craig Koppie, a USFWS Peregrine Falcon expert explained to me in an email today that it seems a bit early for nesting. More than likely, the male might just be heating up the courtship-romance, perhaps in relation to last week's warmer weather. Craig also mentioned that he has seen similar behavior in AMERICAN KESTRELS, America's smallest falcon.

Finally, here she fixing up her flight feathers just right. She is preening, but the date already appeared to be over. Women are smart... it's always important to look your very best. Plus, it helps her to go fast in the sky... very fast.I will happily keep you posted. More soon.


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