Vigor and ferocity…

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.*”

peregrine, falcon, stoop, cliff racing

Cliff racing                                               Photo by Cleve Nash

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.

peregrine, falcon, stoop

Peregrine stooping                                 Photo by Cleve Nash

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.


About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.
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6 Responses to Vigor and ferocity…

  1. Linda Wedel says:

    Glad you are on guard, as I seem to miss the activity, guess I will have to visit your spot and look through you magin telescope.

  2. Sue says:

    What is cliff racing?

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Cliff racing is exhibition flying normally at breeding times, showing off for the female, flying fast in front of the rock, making several passes with high G turns, stoops and rolls. Always exciting! Bob

  3. Brian Riel says:

    Thanks Bob love the post will be seeing you in a couple of weeks. My family and I will be over the weekend of Martin Luther King holiday.

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Just want to remind you that weekend is the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. Lots of things to see and do. PCPW will be set up with at least 3 sporting scopes at the “rock.” Make sure to check out the Morro Bay Community Center with all the displays and vendors. Bob

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