Intern Diary Week 4 – Cold but exciting week at the watch

It’s my second week here at the Peregrine Watch and everything is getting a bit more normal and becoming a routine, it feels really good because it means I don’t get as nervous anymore.

It has been really quiet and cold around here, but that also meant that the birds spent a lot of time on their favourite perches where they are more sheltered from the wind. We had some excitement yesterday though with the falcon (female) coming back with some food (totally unrecognisable by the time she got here) and some mating taking place as well.

Falcon feeding (c) Catarina Fonseca
Falcon feeding (c) Catarina Fonseca

Usually around February-March, peregrines will start their breeding season and engaging in courtship behaviours. This will usually translate in the male (tiercel) offering lots of food to the female (falcon), nest scraping and copulation.  We have seen all of these behaviours in the last couple weeks so that is a very good sign.

In the British Isles, egg laying will usually take place around late-March or beginning of April. We have had our birds laying around that time so we are curious to see what is going to happen in the next few weeks. Our birds, particularly the tiercel that is 18 years old, are starting to get a bit old to breed and have failed in the last two seasons. The fact that they are showing all the breeding behaviours and mating is very interesting, because it means they are still trying. We are very curious to see what they achieve this season.

Is there anything you would like to know about the peregrines’ breeding habits?

Cat Fonseca – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Ranger Intern
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It’s my second week here at the Peregrine Watch and everything is getting a bit more normal and becoming a routine, it feels really good because it means I don’t …

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