© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved. falcon-checkup2015-5

Peregrine Falcon rescue, reunion and banding 2015

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 nestlings. 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):

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2016 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2016 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Once inside, the nestling woke up and actually seemed OK, just hungry – its crop was obviously empty from not being fed.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Amazingly, it was determined to be OK with nothing broken from the fall – it happily gobbled down quail…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

It sure ate a lot – check out the full crop!

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Here is mom, 63/AE (hatched and banded in Lowell, MA 2010)

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

The male on the left is 1/3 smaller than the intimidating female on the right:

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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!

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

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:

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

Want more?
Watch these falcons grow up LIVE on ASRI’s streaming webcam
– Pictures of Peregrine Falcon Banding Day 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014
All of my Peregrine Falcon blog posts

© 2016 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2016 Peter Green. All rights reserved.


  1. laura
    Posted 05.28.15 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    as usual, the photos are excellent and the story not less. I’m glad all nestlings are ok, those falcons are very good looking. Good job all of you!

  2. Mike Ashworth
    Posted 05.28.15 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I admire your work. Stay off the ledges! My ospreys have returned again. We also have 2 new nesting pairs with 1800′ all with their own coves to fish. It’s been fun watching them.

  3. Ingrid Brouwer
    Posted 05.28.15 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Peter! Incredible story with a VERY happy ending :-)
    Great pictures of the whole family. I love the face protection ! ;-)

  4. Ingrid Brouwer
    Posted 05.28.15 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I looked carefully at the picture where all three eyases are together and I think there are 2 males and 1 female. (Probably wrong, but hey, always fun to try and figure these things out myself, based on 10 years of watching dozens of nests on the internet) ;-)

    • George
      Posted 05.28.15 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      You guessed correctly, Ingrid !!

      My lovely wife & I were part of the banding party today and watched as Joe ‘sexed’ the babies

      It was a wonderful day and Mom was all worked up but as you can see from the live cam she is all settled down now — as are the nestlings !!

  5. Posted 05.28.15 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    This a tremendous series of events! Very happy you had a chance to help them out, and your photos are magnificent. Well done.

  6. Barbara Flannery
    Posted 05.28.15 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    This is so wonderful and thank you for sharing! I was watching falcons in a bell tower in a cathedral in Brussels; they have now grown and left the nest!! Now I have these babies!

  7. Ida Schmulowitz
    Posted 05.28.15 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! What a great story!

  8. Posted 05.28.15 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    WoW!!! Thanks for sharing! There just just the cutest babies!

  9. Kathleen
    Posted 05.28.15 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Peter, what a great story with a happy ending, and so well documented by your images. I’m so glad these peregrine falcons have so many fans and a dedicated cohort of protectors willing to risk life and limb for their success. It would have been a tragic loss of the one given it was probably just a small misstep that put it out of the nest. And who among us hasn’t made a small misstep? I hope there’s no more drama with this trio, and a very BORING fledging!

  10. Michelle
    Posted 05.29.15 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Peter, for being there for these birds…this year and last year. It is so heartwarming to know that you care enough to go out of your way to help. I, and all the peregrine watchers, are
    very grateful.

  11. Posted 05.29.15 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Fantastic, Peter!
    Love the story and the documentation and the happy ending.

  12. Sandra
    Posted 05.29.15 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    High drama high over the city! Providence is fortunate to have such talented and caring people monitoring its wildlife and recording its magnificence for all to see! Kudos to all!

  13. Posted 05.29.15 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your amazing work and for sharing the story and photos!

  14. Alice
    Posted 05.29.15 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Amazing photos, touching story, and a happy ending. Peter, you are so talented!

  15. Posted 05.29.15 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post and I’m truly enjoying the photos! Lovely work.

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