Posted by: grperegrines | 05/25/2018

5/25/18: Banding day success

On Thursday, the 24th, DNR biologists banded two chicks in each nest box.  The GVSU nest box had a male and a female, while the Kent County Courthouse had two females.  (Observers had only seen one chick for sure at the courthouse, so it was nice to hear about the second one.)  I don’t have the band numbers/letters yet, so I’ll pass those on when I get them.

The adults at both sites did their jobs, trying to protect their babies.  This was Majestic’s first experience with this process and she didn’t quite know what to do, though she made a lot of noise and did some swooping at those doing the banding.  The adult male was absent for quite a while and when he appeared it was to land on the ledge next to the box to deliver lunch.  He took off with a squawk, dropped off the prey somewhere, then came back to make some swoops of his own.  Once the chicks were returned to the box, it took Majestic 8-10 minutes to land on the box to check on her babies.  It will be interesting to see if she gets more aggressive over the years, like the female at the courthouse is.

The courthouse female swooped close enough to make the DNR guys duck, as you can see in the photo below.  (They wear hard hats for a reason!) She was the one doing most of the swooping, while the male made large loops around the courthouse area to guard against any other aerial attack.  Once the ladder was taken away, the adult female landed on the nest box within a minute.  Another observation that surprised us was that both adults were on the courthouse before the banders arrived.  The female was in the box and the male on the roof ledge.  My guess is that they heard all the commotion at the GVSU box and were on guard.

Many thanks to Elaine F for sharing her great photo, taken as the chicks were being returned to the box.banding 1 May 24 2018



  1. The GVSU falcon cam showed one clearly is black over blue, 27 over K.

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