Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nesting Season Nears

It's been a long, cold winter but every day we have a few more minutes of daylight. Even with winter-like weather still in the forecast, it will no doubt be spring soon. The peregrines have been seen at the ledge off and on throughout the winter and this morning they both stopped in the nestbox for a bit of bonding. (I saved an image but it won't seem to load at this time--will attempt to edit this post later and add it.)

So, what can we expect this year? Peregrines normally lay eggs in March and April. However, this is Durand's first nesting attempt. To recap, she hatched in 2009 from the Hamilton, Ontario nest. Being that she is a young bird it is possible she won't even lay eggs this year. Or, she could produce but they don't hatch. A lot can happen in the first year.

As for the male, because of his plumage and behavior it is believed he is a different individual and not the same male from last year (Trooper). As this male is not banded there is no way of knowing his age or where he came from. It is likely it could be his first nesting attempt as well. Again, we could be dealing with infertile eggs--or, everything could work out just fine in that we have a successful first-time nesting attempt with this pair.

Throw in another scenario and this male could just be wintering at this location and in the next couple of weeks could leave the area to return to an established nesting territory elsewhere. Or, if he is claiming Columbus as his territory there is still the possibility that Trooper could return and there might be a fight between them. Lots of things could happen but as we get closer to actual nesting season one thing is for sure - if there will be any upsets we can expect them within the next few weeks. So, it is important for all eyes to be watching to help determine what goes on.

Part of the fun of following these birds is the suspense and drama. As I often say, Stay Tuned...!!!!