It’s Fri-yay! After what seems like the longest week ever, I’m more than happy to wash my hands, kick my feet up, and grab some popcorn! We have John Howe’s T.E.D talk (Learning with the Eagles of Decorah), shift change and what might be territorial defense on Mom and DM2’s part, and a fascinating egg roll from Mom! At Great SPirit Bluff, we’re watching ‘As the Nest Turns’: Michelle hasn’t yet come home and Newman has been seen courting two different females – an unbanded female and Karen 44/P, a falcon I banded at MPL’s Cohasset facility in 2016. As of this post, the unbanded female is setting herself up as the new resident falcon. At this point, we would be a little surprised if Michelle returned, although we still haven’t ruled it out!
Thanks for watching, caring, learning, and sharing! If you missed it, we had a post on favorite birds on our Facebook page earlier today. Feel welcome to read through it, admire everyone’s picks, and comment with your own favorite bird or birds. Pet birds are welcome (there are some beauties on the list)!
March 20, 2020: Learning with The Eagles of Decorah (John’s T.E.D talk) – https://youtu.be/WA5Yrw1Gcas. Did you miss John’s talk about nests, nest size, and nest building? Thanks to Tulsaducati, you can catch it here!
March 19, 2020: 4pm Mom calls for a break, DM2 takes over, eggs in the rain – https://youtu.be/B56WzhL93ao. Mom has had enough of sitting in the rain! She calls for DM2 to take over. We hear him respond, but he doesn’t come into the nest. After 52 seconds, Mom has had enough! She gets up and continues to vocalize as she flies out. The two of them have quite a conversation, although I can’t help but wonder if they were mutually vocalizing in territorial defense – it doesn’t necessarily sound like copulation and goes on for longer than I would expect if that were the case. DM2 flies in at 2:33 to start his shift on what might be the only semi-dry place for miles, carefully tucking his eggs in and shimmying them into place. Mom continues to vocalize in the distance.
March 19, 2020: Mom Rolls the Eggs-DM2 Perches Nearby-Panning – https://youtu.be/WA5Yrw1Gcas. Go to 8:12 to see Mom roll the eggs. I found this fascinating – while she doesn’t exactly roll them with her feet (something we haven’t yet seen her do) she does make rolling motions next to the eggs. At 8:23, we briefly see the tip of her beak dip down into the frame, as though she is looking down. At 8:31 – slow the video down to see it – she pushes an outside egg in with her foot to form a triangle and jostles everything into place with her beak at 8:37.
Great Spirit Bluff
Talk about as the nest turns! While we wait to see whether Michelle will come back, Newman is courting multiple female falcons! Two videos…
March 20, 2020: Unbanded female is back – https://youtu.be/xIYe0fy0xMI. I’m not going to lie – I banded Karen and was hoping she would stick around. But, whether she left on her own or was escorted off the territory by the unbanded female, she is gone and UF is back! If she stays, John will have to give her a name. Again, watch the early part of the video for classic falcon courtship. Hear the chupping or e-chupping? Peregrine falcons have three basic vocalizations – the chup or e-chup made during courting and to family, the wail (“Get your tail over here! I’m hungry/want a shift change/want to bond/the kids are hungry/I see something that worries me”), and the kek, a warning call made immediately prior to and during attack. We’ll hear all three over the course of the season!
March 19, 2020: Banded female visitor 44/P Karen – https://youtu.be/PUFTta-yjaE. In this video, we see female 44/P Karen, a falcon that I banded at MPL’s Cohasset stack in 2016. We see classic falcon courtship – bowing and chupping – at :59 seconds and a lot of close-up views as our camera operators work to get the falcon’s band number (thanks so much)!