Out With the Old, In With the New-Nest Site Maintenance
With the changing seasons comes changes to the peregrine nest site on the 41st floor of the Rhodes State Office Tower. Every year wildlife biologists take the opportunity during the "off season" to conduct routine maintenance in preparation for the next year's nesting season. This maintenance usually involves a new coat of paint on the nest box and replacing the old nesting material (gravel) with new. This year we decided that some other upgrades were needed.
|New nest box in place. Some additional minor repairs and touch up will be done prior to next season.|
|Some history being hauled away - this old nest box raised ~45 young peregrines|
over the years! The first successful nest at this site fledged 3 in 1994.
While we were working on the nest ledge we found various remains of the different food sources the peregrines have feasted on. We found the skull of a woodcock and the leg band of a racing pigeon. We tracked the pigeon band number to a club in Herman, Pennsylvania!
Peregrines are often incorrectly labeled as being useful to control nuisance pigeon populations. While peregrines will hunt pigeons, for the most part, resident pigeons in urban areas become wise to the presence of the resident peregrines and tend to avoid the predators so both species coexist in the same area. But a racing pigeon flying through the area is clueless to the potential threat. Peregrines are opportunistic predators and will prey on whatever bird species are easily available, which sometimes includes an unwary racing pigeon.
|Racing pigeon leg band in nest box|