Just showing off…

Observation date: 6 February 2015

Visitors to Morro Rock today were treated with a spectacular aerial performance from the south side tiercel. Oooohs and ahhhhhs followed all his high speed acrobatics. When you think he’s about out of gas, he swerves in at great speed hitting the airbrakes to land on top of the female for seven seconds of copulation then returning to the air again. With all systems charged, he returns to speed with stiff winds blowing. In one forty three minute exercise, he copulated four times and sortied at least sixty times in front of the female, stopping twelve times for no more than thirty seconds each,  just to catch his breath. I have no idea how old this male is, but on days like this he looks to be in his prime. In previous postings, I have written about his short comings, made fun of him and called him Caspar Milquetoast, which were true, but today in gale force winds he was Caspar Studmuffin.

Happy trails, Bob

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The only way for me to capture this awesome display is with words. Video and photography are extremely difficult due to the high speed of the falcon and the distance, 75 to 100 yards, and with the rock in the background. It is hard for the camera to know what to focus on. Most of the spectators see him stoop* in the blue sky and lose sight as he passes in front of the rock at tremendous speed. They then pick him up again as he clears the face to swoop up into the blue sky to make another run. These displays of speed and high “G force” turns will continue until egg laying sometime within the first two weeks of March. If you are lucky enough to see this on a windy day, I’m sure it will be etched in your mind forever.

*stoop – near vertical dive

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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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4 Responses to Just showing off…

  1. Sue Boardman says:

    Wow! That is why these guys have such a fan base!

  2. Greg Lyle says:

    Found a tagged fresh killed falcon in Marysville, WA this evening. The tag was blue and read: AU 2005, 0548, Las Vegas Connection. A larger raptor returned for his kill before I could remove the tag. If this is important to anyone you can contact Greg:

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Thanks for getting the number and being concerned to report this. We need more people like you.

      Cornell University is a good place to start. They’ll need the leg band information. You could contact your local Fish and Game Officer. If you’re lucky enough to know where the raptor took the banded falcon to eat, then retrieve the leg band and take it in. A leg with a band might not be eaten so the band would remain. If it were eaten by a bird such as an owl, it would be found in the owl pellet. If you stay in contact, they will be able to tell you where and when the bird fledged. Year, sex and eyrie location.

      We would be interested in knowing any follow up information that you receive. We’ll be happy to post it for other to see the work you have done. ~Heather and Bob

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