© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved. falcons-banding2013-2

Peregrine Falcon Banding Day in Providence 2013

Today I accompanied the brave wildlife officials who annually band the peregrine falcon nestlings here in Providence – the one day I can get close up photos of the wild falcons that I can usually only admire from a distance – my favorite day of the year.

For complete information about the banding process, please watch this great video from the Providence Journal in 2008: click here to watch

When we arrived on top of the 27-story tower, mom was inside the box feeding the eyases (nestlings). When she came to check us out she had leftover breakfast grasped in her talons (see above). The protective tiercel (male) arrived shortly afterwards. You can tell them apart by their ankle bands; the female is unbanded and the male is banded. His band number indicates he was born in Boston.

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Neither of them looked happy to see us…

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Check out those talons!

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Joe Z is the man in charge – he installed the next box in 1996 and every year he’s the guy who bands the nestlings. Here you can see him gently removing one through a secret back door panel.

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

This year the female incubated four eggs, but only two hatched. The nestlings are measured, sexed and banded by Joe. At this age, 21 days after hatching, their ankles are already fully grown so there is no concern that they will grow too large for the bands being applied.

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Two unhatched eggs were removed from the box:

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Although their nestlings are being handled by strangers and the parents are obviously upset, it does not stop them from caring for the eyases once they are returned to the box. In fact, the parents might feel pride that they successfully protected their territory from invaders.

Here is mom returning to her nestlings:

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

As we exited, dad continued to watch closely – he sure is handsome:

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Want more?
watch these falcons grow up LIVE on ASRI’s streaming webcam
my pictures of the falcon banding in 2011
my pictures of the falcon banding in 2012
all of my peregrine falcon blog posts

Lastly, here’s the beautiful view from 27 floors up:

© 2013 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

19 Comments

  1. Ingrid Brouwer
    Posted 05.17.13 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures again, thank you so much! What gender are the two eyases? (Just curious ;-) )

  2. jannice
    Posted 05.17.13 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    As usual your pictures make me feel like I am right there. Thank you so very much.
    I’ll add a question along with Ingrid’s, can you give the band numbers also? (for record at forum). Thank you again for sharing this with us.

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Thank you both, I sincerely appreciate the compliments. I’ll ask about the genders and tag numbers… stay tuned…

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      ok, here’s what I’ve been told:
      Although one of the peregrines banded was a bit larger over-all, judging by leg & band size they are both male.
      The band numbers are: 816-06280 and 816-06281.

  3. Gigi Caito
    Posted 05.17.13 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    WOW! Your pictures are amazing. Thank you Peter!

    I especially loved the comment: “parents might feel pride that they successfully protected their territory from invaders.” Big sigh of relief for sure!

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Gigi, I appreciate it

  4. Rufus Abdullah
    Posted 05.17.13 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Raptors are my favorite bird to photograph and I love your images of them so very much….

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Rufus, I hope to run into you again sometime

  5. Hali Sowle
    Posted 05.17.13 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting these Peter, they are gorgeous and what an amazing experience, it’s great to be able live it through your images.

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Hali – I love the adventure

  6. Karen Cardoza
    Posted 05.17.13 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    My students have been watching along with me every day and this morning we saw mama feeding the little one’s breakfast then an empty nesting box. I figured it was banding and so we watched and saw them being put back in the nest and the not-too-happy parents protecting their young. :-)

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment, Karen, I was wondering what webcam watchers would think of the missing falcons! I think the signal was later knocked offline while removing the non-functioning camera that was inside the box. I hope the main camera is back online for your students soon.

  7. Connie Jacobucci
    Posted 05.17.13 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes, they are very protective, aren’t they? Love your photos, had a great time, and my head still hurts.:) All worth it! Joe said I am now 1 of 5 people in NE hit by a peregrine. Well worth the title!

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.17.13 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      You’re very lucky you were wearing a helmet :)
      sorry I didn’t capture the moment on film

  8. jannice
    Posted 05.17.13 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Peter for the information, again thank you for all your great pictures over the years.

  9. jody
    Posted 05.18.13 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peter:
    We met you at the home show and I told you I volunteered in Smithfield. We watched the live cam …we live at the residences :). Your pictures are beyond awesome!! Fabulous! Brought goosebumps to my arms. Thank you so much!

  10. Vivian Maxson
    Posted 05.19.13 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos Peter. Again, you make us feel as though we were there! Great documentation of an important banding project.

  11. Posted 05.20.13 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s always so fascinating to see the pictures and video of the eggs and growing nestlings. I’d love to be able to be up there with them! Great work, as ever.

    • Peter Green
      Posted 05.21.13 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Thank you all for the compliments, I appreciate it sincerely – it’s great to hear that people enjoy viewing my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>