Mar 18 2010
Three days ago, viewers of the Wilmington, Delaware falconcam were shocked to see two male peregrines locked in combat on the nest. The fight lasted more than an hour and in the end the vanquished left and the victor paced the gravel with a white feather and blood from the loser’s breast on his beak.
An hour later the resident male peregrine visited the nest and calmly surveyed the scene. He had won the battle, but his long-time mate was dead and the new female who challenged her was claiming the nest as her own.
This peregrine nest at the Brandywine Building in Wilmington, Delaware has seen more than enough trouble in the past year. Last May, two peregrine chicks were found dead and the other two leapt or were carried from the nest, though still unable to fly. One chick was rescued and placed back in the nest only to disappear a few days later. No young survived.
What danger would prompt the young to leap? What would kill them without eating them? Around that time, a second female peregrine had arrived and was harrassing the resident female. On rare occasions an intruder will invade the nest and kill her rival’s young. Is that what happened here? No one knows because there was no webcam.
But this year there is a webcam, installed by the Delmarva Ornithological Society, and it has already helped solve the mystery of the fight for this nest. At the end of Monday’s fight, we knew the resident male had won — for now.
Is the fighting over? Will the resident male and the new female peregrine be able to raise a family in peace? We don’t know, but the webcam will help us find out. Click on the photo above to visit the Wilmington falconcam.
And don’t miss the rest of Kim’s Wilmington Falcons website. You’ll really enjoy her photos!
(photo from the Delmarva Ornithological Society webcam at the Wilmington, Delaware peregrine nest)