Observation date: 2 January 2015
January 2, 2015, this day last year the south side pair of peregrine falcons bred for the first time of the 2014 season. As of today no breeding has been observed as of yet. In past years it has normally begun in mid-December. I have been spending more hours this month on duty at the “rock.” Seven and eight hours instead of the normal five and six just so I could have something to write about. I apologize for December’s lack of correspondence.
In the last few weeks, the falcons have encountered conflict with three different transient falcons, two female and one male. All being successfully dismissed by both male and female. Now that breeding is imminent, the tiercel’s testosterone level is rising and the Caspar Milquetoast persona is being replaced by the evil “Edward Hyde.*”
Daily encounters with other raptors have been observed twice with an osprey which the tiercel actually “bound onto”* for a second or two. These engagements are with vigor and ferocity, stooping many times and screaming. No longer the run and hide syndrome. The female who usually does all of this just sits and watches while he performs.
The birds could have copulated by this time, but I haven’t observed it as of yet. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but it’s a possibility. This is just something we don’t know right now.
Happy trails, Bob
* Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, first published 1886
* bound onto – see Glossary, bind. Bound is the past tense of the verb to bind.