[CT Birds] Peregrine Falcons New Britain

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Mon Jan 12 18:50:59 EST 2015

Passing this along.

 From SH Johnston:
Report from Sunday afternoon
01/11/2015 -- Downtown New Britain - 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS (adult male and female) - Very active in and around downtown, chasing pigeons, consuming prey, preening, interacting, vocalizing. I watched them for three hours. Both rested and preened atop 160 Main Street (5-story office building, liquor store on ground floor). The male consumed a pigeon while resting atop TD bank, two doors down. The male also found a commanding perch a few inches below the high spire of South Church (90 Main Street). I was able to observe both birds and did not see bands on either one. I watched them until nearly dusk; I hope to get back there this week to see if they are still hanging about. Gorgeous pearly grey birds. Noisy! Amazing that not a single pedestrian seemed to notice these grand birds swooping, stooping, screaming, and even pooping on the sidewalk from five stories up!

I am in downtown New Britain at least once a week, and have seen peregrines there fairly often over the past year. In November, I saw two large juvenile birds (perhaps from the Newington next), and have seen single adults on and off over the past several weeks. This was the first time I've seen a pair together. If you're there, check the highest spire at Trinity-on-Main (69 Main Street, directly across from South Church), and also check the tall office building at 160 Main, mentioned above. There downtown flock of rock pigeons is the obvious target. Walnut Hill Park is a stone's throw away.

I'm wondering if a nest site could be established in downtown New Britain with a judiciously-placed nest box.

One day last year I found the head of a woodcock on the street right in front of 90 Main Street - perhaps a falcon kill? http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/2014/04/whats-that-bird-bat.html

Re: Gyrfalcon sightings -- I was very lucky last winter to see (twice) the Gyrfalcon that delighted birders for weeks in Hadley, Mass. (On one wonderful day, I saw all four falcon species!http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-four-falcon-day.html) The gyr hunted regularly in the same spots, and one indefatigable birder tracked down its roost (and publicized it). My point is that once the bird settled in the area, it seemed to establish fairly regular habits. (The area has a great combo of large farm fields and open areas, intersected by the broad Connecticut River. Great winter birding up there.)

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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