Friday, March 29, 2013

Peregrine Falcon Courtship

We are starting to see courtship at a number of peregrine nests. Those of you who watched at last year might remember that the falcons were in full laying mode by the first week of April. The cold spring seems to have pushed nesting activities just a little farther back this year, since by the last week of March 2012 we already had peregrine eggs at three nests.

The falcons begin with ledge and cliff displays, bowing and calling loudly. The male brings gifts of food to the female, often engaging in acrobatic mid-air food transfers. As courtship progresses, the falcons build a scrape for their eggs, digging into the gravel with their breasts and pushing to create a scrape. The male may solicit the female by bowing and e-chupping. Finally, both falcons bow and e-chup over the scrape.

GSBDweller caught Travis bringing Michelle food on Tuesday. We'll be watching closely for courtship activities at Great Spirit Bluff.

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