Category Archives: courtship
Photo by Cleve Nash On the left you can see the female and her wet vent area. The male on the right has brought her prey to eat. All signs, from observations, tell us that egg laying has begun. Cleve … Continue reading
“Simone” Photo by Cleve Nash A lot of nice people were visiting Morro Bay over the four day holiday. Many were able to see the “tall ships” do battle outside the bay and many saw the falcons for the first … Continue reading
Photo by Heather O’Connor As we continue to observe the antics of the breeding peregrines, this holiday weekend brought two tall ships, the “Lady Washington” and the “Hawaiian Chieftain” into Morro Bay, California. A delightful day in the low 70s … Continue reading
One warm sunny day and everything starts happening. Breeding is nearly in full swing. About three times within a four hour period on their arrival to the “rock,” the south side falcons flew into the diving board eyrie and spent … Continue reading
Photo by Cleve Nash For some time now my friend and associate, Cleve Nash, and I have been making small snide remarks, not in public of course about the south side tiercel and how much of a wuss he has … Continue reading
Photo by Cleve Nash I think I have mentioned several times before that the peregrines begin their mating in December. Well, this is December and “The dew is on the punkin’.” And early this morning the tiercel made his first … Continue reading
Photo by Bob Isenberg With the holidays coming, we have had many people visiting the rock in Morro Bay. The falcons are not disappointing many of them. They are going through pre-courtship, sitting closer and closer together and vocalizing as … Continue reading
Hi Randy, You asked about the best season to watch and photograph the falcons. My favorite time is January, February and March. This is the time you’ll see high speed acrobatics by the tiercel during this courtship and breeding time. … Continue reading
This is the fifth in a series of tales about the “famous and not-so-famous birds of Morro Rock.”
This bird that I am speaking of is probably the most famous bird in the las two decades as far as I’m concerned. She is the matriarch of Morro Rock. She was a young female when she arrived at Morro Rock in the late summer of 2000, a sub-adult still carrying some juvenile plumage. That summer we had lost a banded female named “Millie.” No one knew what happened to “Millie.” There was no carcass; she was just gone. Her mate at the time was a banded tiercel named “Rudy” because of the “RU” on one of his banded legs. “Rudy” had been single for some time when the young female arrived. He tolerated her perching on his rock and as the weeks passed by he showed some interest by flying around her. Nothing spectacular.
As October turned to November and the days got shorter, she was now in adult plumage, distinct white patch on the side of her head to contrast the black mustache and yellow cere. She is a powerful and swift female, large, but not overly large. Somehow they know after the winter Solstice about Christmastime, there is something in the air that says courtship.
The male starts flying faster and closer to her as she perches to watch this display of speed, power and agility which is all meant for this young maiden. Within a couple of days he approacher her overhead, the young female went into a submissive squat, her chin on the rock and her tail high. They continued this several times a day for the next three months. That year, her maiden year, she had one chick in a nest site called the “mailslot.” Since that first year and the ten years after, she has given us 25 young falcons from three different males. She is about thirteen now and just as beautiful as the day she arrived that late summer day.
Happy trails, Bob