Peregrine Falcon 63/AE is still the ruling female in downtown Providence. This year she laid 4 eggs and 3 hatched. Above, you can see her protecting the one-day-old newborns. There’s a new father this year, more on that later…
Below, you can see the nest box located on 111 Westminster (center of the photo):
You can watch the falcons LIVE on webcam thanks to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. Here is an informational video of the banding in 2008 by The Providence Journal. The banders and falcons have since changed, but the basic info is still accurate.
Earlier this week, devoted webcam watchers noticed one of the nestlings had disappeared. Here’s a photo of two nestlings wondering where their sibling is…
Since I work with the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, live 2 blocks away from the falcons, and have attended banding day for the past 7 years, I was asked by Audubon to go over and see if the missing nestling could be located. From a window on the 31st floor, I could see one nestling had indeed fallen about 10 feet to a ledge below the box. The poor thing looked dead for sure…
But moments later I noticed the youngster had tucked its legs under its body – it was still alive! I called Audubon, Born to Be Wild Nature Center and others for advice. Everyone agreed the fallen nestling should be rescued – even if the mother was still able to feed it, there was a 30 STORY drop just inches away – too dangerous.
The building’s Chief Engineer escorted me outside and I ran as fast as I could, quickly retrieved the nestling, and placed it gently into my bag. When I turned around to head back, mom was there blocking my exit… I snapped a photo before she returned to the two nestlings still inside of the box, then I quickly headed back inside. From experience, I know to stay against the building walls for safety from falcon attack.
Once inside, the nestling woke up and actually seemed OK, just hungry – its crop was obviously empty from not being fed.
I put it in a cat carrier and drove it to the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island to be examined by Dr. Chan and Arianna Mouradjian for any broken bones.
Amazingly, it was determined to be OK with nothing broken from the fall – it happily gobbled down quail…
It sure ate a lot – check out the full crop!
Luckily banding day was scheduled for the next day (today), so the nestling was reunited with its family this morning and everything went beautifully. Here they are – together again – two males and one female on the right.
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.
Here is mom, 63/AE (born in Lowell, MA 2010)
Surprisingly, her new mate is a male born right here in Providence in 2010 and banded 25/AB. That means he displaced his own father and mated with his step-mother! Plus, 25/AB nested last year 1.5 miles away at the Cranston Street Armory – who knows why he returned downtown and what became of his father 80/X.
The male on the left is 1/3 smaller than the intimidating female on the right:
Here is Joe Zybrowski, the official bander after another job well done… today marked the 47th Peregrine Falcon nestling he’s bravely banded in Providence since the year 2000!
Lastly, here’s cool video from Paul Almeida, the building’s Chief Engineer who enjoys the falcons and watched today’s events from a window above. This is the moment the banded nestlings were returned to the parents.
And here is video recorded from the live webcam:
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or on Facebook. Thanks for reading!