Peregrine Falcons and Other News

Hot weather is for the birds.  But they seem to like it.  Especially those Snowy Plovers.  They are very persistant, tending over the two eggs on the boat ramp parking lot near Red Arroyo.  We checked on them this morning, but the Snowies themselves were taking shelter from the heat for awhile and leaving the eggs unattended.  But they appeared later just when Sharon Camfield arrived.  She was able to add a Snowy Plover to her life list.  Congrats to Sharon.

We have a friend, Jim Cunningham, who resides in California but travels around the west and southwest, wherever his job takes him.  He is a structural steel engineer and currently is working on the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco.  He is a wildlife lover and he carries a little point-and-shoot camera in his pocket all the time.  Where he works, it is not feasible to use anything else.  Think 150 feet over San Francisco Bay.

While working the high iron there recently, a Peregrine Falcon landed on the rail near him.  It kept returning to his “work place” for several days.  He also was able to spot a nest or aerie in among some steel bridge supports.  There were two or three young birds there.  At first he didn’t know what kind of bird it was, so he e-mailed photos to both me and Terry Maxwell for confirmation. 

Today I received a CD from him containing several images and he wanted me to post some here to this blog.  He also wanted me to explain how we ID these falcons.  Well, I am a novice, so actually I really didn’t know a lot about them.  So I looked in Sibleys Guide, plus a couple of others.  What stood out to me was the round, dark “ear-muff” patches on the side of the head.  So here are a few of the photos, with thanks to Jim for providing them.  Click on any image for an enlargement.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon nest

Peregrine Falcon nest

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

6 thoughts on “Peregrine Falcons and Other News

  1. From the south gate go straight back toward the lake to that boat ramp parking lot. It is best to park near the top of the ramp so you won’t be close to the eggs. Walk 10-20 feet so you can see towards the end of the lot. On the right you will see a rock about 12 inches in diameter. The two egges are about 5 feet away next to one of the parking place white lines. If you’r lucky, one of the Snowies will be at the eggs. Bob

  2. Thank you, Simone and Suzanne,

    Jim was very lucky to have those Peregrine Falcons come so close, and I’m glad he decided to share with us.


  3. Beautiful shots, I love peregrines, they’re fantastic birds. The chicks are wonderful! 🙂 Your friend was very lucky to have such a close encounter 🙂

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