Since 1999, the same female peregrine falcon ruled downtown Providence and raised over 30 nestlings. She was a beautiful bird, and 14 years is an impressive span of time to hold on to the highest nesting spot in the city.
This year, a new female unexpectedly displaced the previous one, took over the nest box, and laid her own clutch of eggs. The previous female was unbanded, so we will never know what happened to her, but hopefully she is alive and well somewhere.
The new female’s band number “63/AE” lets us know she was born at UMass Lowell in 2010. Over the years the previous female had three different mates, the most recent being “80/X” who was born in Boston in 2007.
The resident tiercel (male falcon) is still “80/X”. As someone told me recently, “Peregrine Falcons mate for life, but they don’t mourn for a second.” So, “80/X” mated with “63/AE” this year.
Today, wildlife officials banded three healthy Peregrine Falcon nestlings and I was there to document the event with photos.
For complete information about the banding process, please watch this informative short video from the Providence Journal in 2008: click here to watch
Joe Z is the official falcon bander – here you can see him removing a nestling from a secret back door on the nest box.
By this age, their ankles have grown to full size so there is no concern about the bands inhibiting their growth. Ankle width indicates the sex and the size of the band needed. Females have much thicker ankles.
Although their nestlings are being handled by strangers, it does not stop the parents from caring for them once they are returned to the box. In fact, the parents might feel pride that they successfully protected their territory from invaders.
– 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
– my pictures of the falcon banding in 2013
– all of my peregrine falcon blog posts