Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mating and a Name for the Newbie

Courtship is progressing and all looks normal at the nest. This morning mating was observed on the ledge at approximately 8:25 a.m. Scout is often seen with prey, no doubt caught by the newbie male and presented to her as part of the bonding process. Scout continues to work on the scrape in the nestbox which is another form of pair bonding and helps to integrate the pair.

Off-camera the two are probably also engaging in cooperative hunting and flight displays. So, anyone that can spend some time downtown would likely see this additional element of the birds' lives that the cameras don't show. All of the courtship and mating behaviors are a definite great sign for a productive nesting season but given all of the processes involved, it usually takes a couple of weeks for the female to cycle and produce eggs.

While we wait for eggs, we've decided to allow the fans to pick a name for the new male! As many folks out there know, the names for the nestling falcons at the Columbus nest are chosen through a contest held by a local school. And most times, a new adult falcon coming into a territory is usually already banded and named, so our general pool of fans out there doesn't have too many opportunities to help name a peregrine in Columbus. This year will be your chance! In the very near future we will launch a survey whereby anyone can submit their choice for a name for the new male. The survey will be up for several days, after which a few of us here at the Ohio Division of Wildlife will narrow all of the choices submitted to a list of finalists. The names making the final cut will then be up for public vote via a webpoll in early April. So, stay tuned and start thinking of your choice of name!