Monday, October 24, 2016

New Male Identified!

Thanks to fans in POLAND and MARYLAND (yes, many people outside of Ohio and outside the USA enjoy the Columbus FalconCam!) we have an ID on the new male that has been lurking:
The color band is black/red 30/Z.  What has been a mystery up until now, is this male does not have the USFWS (USGS) band!  Only the color band.  Typically, peregrines are banded with both types of bands and even if they would only be banded with one band, it would be the USFWS (USGS) band. So we have been wondering why it doesn't have the other band and now that we have positive ID, we know.

This peregrine was banded in 2014 in Bowling Green, Ohio.  It is a male but was banded as a female! Female peregrines are much larger than the males and thus are fitted with larger size leg bands.  When the chicks are banded at about 3 weeks of age, gender is determined by the size of the nestling.  More times than not, an accurate determination of the sex can be made but evidently, at least in this case this individual falcon was thought to be a female and thus was fitted with the larger size band.  At some point in time, the USFWS (USGS) band must have slipped off over the foot, leaving only the color band to identify this individual.  This is very rare and luckily, the band was lost without injury to the falcon.

As an adult, 30/Z does appear to be larger than the average male.  Here is a photo of 30/Z and Durand bonding in the nest box (male on the left) and he really isn't that much smaller than the female, at least from this view.
So with this exciting news, unfortunately, there is still no sign of Spark.  But we won't know for sure which male will maintain this territory until nesting season gets underway early next year.  For now I will reiterate that this male could just be here as a migrant just as Spark could have migrated elsewhere as well. Only time will tell...