Saturday, May 10, 2008

Peregrine Falcon Update: Mariah has a hatch! Plus Thoughts on Pale Male and Lola's Nest

Peregrine images courtesy of the Rochester Falconcam
Mariah watches her 41st eyass hatch!

Time for some Breakfast Pigeon.
--(At least I think it's pigeon. D.B.)

Many thanks to stalwart Peregrine Falcon watcher, Eileen of NY, who sent in this marvelous update with her thoughts, which I heartily second, on the situation with Pale Male and Lola as well--

Good evening Donna-

Before I get to my news I do have to say I'm sad that Pale Male & Lola had an unsuccessful nest this year. But the many Red Tails he and his mates have sent out to the world is still awe inspiring. We may never know for sure how many of the currently nesting pairs may be their blood offspring, but I can't imagine that none of them are. And if he hadn't chosen 5th Ave. for his nest how many of us would spend our days looking into the sky in wonder? That, I believe, is Pale Male's true legacy.

(Indeed Eileen. How many eyes are upturned to the sky because of Pale Male and his mates? Far more than many can possibly imagine, I'm sure. D.B.)

Now, my primary passion, the Peregrines. Hatching and maturing of the eyases is progressing along at most of the nests without incident. There is a nest in Nebraska whose falcon was involved in a territory battle on Monday and was taken into rehab. The first egg hatched this morning and the tiercel is doing his best to hunt and brood. The raptor center will be providing quail nearby to help the tiercel. They expect the falcon to recover and be returned to the nest in about a week. Time will tell, but nests have succeeded in the past in similar dire circumstances.

At my "home" scrape in Rochester NY, Mariah and Kaver had their first hatches in the wee small hours of this morning. A bit after 8am the third of the 5 eggs hatched...which is Mariah's 41st eyas! I'm attaching images from the webcam of the first sighting of the wet and pink 3rd eyas and their first feeding around 1pm.

Being the well experienced falcon that Mariah is, we haven't seen much of them today. She's keeping them well tucked under her while turning and brooding the remaining eggs, which should hatch over the next couple of days. You can watch them live at

One of Mariah & Kaver's daughters from 2006, Rhea Mae, has, in a bit of serendipity, chosen a scrape with a webcam in Toronto- She and her mate Tiago hatched 2 eyases yesterday. There are 2 more eggs which may not hatch since she's so young. Rhea Mae is one of the successes in dire circumstances I mentioned above. Mariah was injured just as the eggs were beginning to hatch and struggled to continue brooding them. Kaver did all the hunting, even feeding Mariah along with the eyases. 2 eyases didn't make it, but 3 survived and thrived. Mariah healed and here we are, celebrating another season! So, that's all for now!All the best

Eileen in NY

Bravo to all the amazing raptors!

Donegal Browne

P.S. The next post down was published in the wee hours of the morning today so if this is your first visit of the day, keep scrolling.


Karen Anne said...

Lincoln's site reports all three Riverside hawklings have passed away. With the loss of one Fordham hawkling, and Pale Male and Lola not having successful hatches, is this number of losses unusually worrying?

Lincoln is taking one of the passed away Riverside hawklings to Ward Stone to examine.

If Pale Male and Lola have more eggs, will the presumable presence of the old eggs in their nest cause a problem?

Wish I lived in that apartment, so I could peek and see if they were able to roll the eggs, etc. If only there were a nest web cam there.

Good news, the three peregrine babies in the Nijmegen nest box, where the intruder caused such a disruption, have been growing by laps and bounds and were huge a day or so ago (there seem to be camera problems now.)

I'll put in a plug for the DVD of the Derby Cathedral, UK peregrines, as noted at
It can be ordered by phoning from the U.S. (this is the total phone number)
011 44 1773 881188
and charging to a credit card. Not a bad idea to toss in a bit extra to support their peregrine work.

It's a mesmerizing DVD.

Donegal Browne said...

The losses are worrying, but then again we know of more nests this season than we have before. As far as I know, the two remaining eyasses at Fordham still seem to be alright.

I was so rooting for Intrepid and Builder, the young parents at Riverside. They seemed to be caring for their young diligently so one worries that perhaps disease or poison might have been the cause of their loss. I'm very glad there will be a necropsy.

As to Pale Male and Lola beginning to copulate once again, they have done this in previous years without laying a second clutch. Which doesn't mean this year couldn't be different, never underestimate a Red-tail, but there is a descending arc to leaving the nest as there was to coming to it. They give up the nest as they came to it, but with actions in reverse order. Whether eggs still in the nest are the issue which prevents double clutching in a given year is in dispute in the literature.

It looks to be a spare year for eyasses in Manhattan considering the number of nests. The pairs at Fifth Avenue, 888 Seventh Ave, and Riverside all look to have failed completely. As far as I know Houston still has living eyasses as does the nest at St. John the Divine.