Apr 26 2010

Who is Who at Gulf Tower?

Published by at 6:30 am under Peregrines


While we wait for the peregrine eggs to hatch at Gulf Tower, here are some quick tips on how to tell the difference between the two adult birds on camera. 

Both are shown above.  Dori, the female, is on the left, her mate Louie on the right.  Here are some clues to identify them as you watch the webcam:

  • Dori has white patches where her wings meet her body.  They are almost like “headlights” because they stand out when she faces you. 
  • Louie does not have white patches near his wings.  Instead he has a large white patch on the nape of his neck.  You can see this easily when he’s bowing. 
  • Dori is much larger than Louie.  The next photo is a side-by-side example showing the difference.  Notice how long Dori’s wingtips and tail are.
  • And (Mary DeV reminded me) Louie’s beak is a brighter yellow than Dori’s.

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And if you’re lucky enough to see both birds together you can identify them immediately by size, as shown in the photo below.  Dori is huge.  No wonder Louie bows low!

Watch them online here and see if you can tell the difference.

(photos from the National Aviary webcam at the Gulf Tower. Thanks to Marianne Atkinson for capturing the big bowing screen shot.)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Who is Who at Gulf Tower?”

  1. faith Cornellon 26 Apr 2010 at 7:12 am

    Feed at COL was later today; 6:45 rather than 6:30 but so precise, everybody gets fed & quiet & back to sleep. The contrast between the pair at Gulf was wonderful to see. I would bow to Dori myself. She is magnificent. Can’t wait to see her brood hatch. Well now I can start my week with a smile & more knowledge. Thanks Kate for bringing the info to us.

  2. Mary DeV.on 26 Apr 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I think that Louie’s beak is much brighter yellow than Dori’s — hers is a more pale, cream color. If all I can really see is the face, I can usually tell by the color of the beak!

    A friend who lives in Highland Park said she used to see a peregrine cruising around the park last year. I bet it was Dori aka Mary Cleo, back when she was living at the 62nd Street Bridge.

  3. Saraon 26 Apr 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I haven’t seen news of it here, but am I wrong in thinking I am seeing/hearing a chick at Gulf Tower? Parent doesn’t seem to move away long enough to verify, but I really think I saw a ball of fluff moving independently a few minutes ago. Maybe just the wind?

  4. Kate St. Johnon 26 Apr 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Sara, it’s probably just the wind. The eggs won’t hatch until May 10, if then. It’s very hard to predict when they’ll hatch this year because they weren’t consistently incubated at first. See this blog from March 30:
    http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/2010/03/30/whats-happening-at-the-gulf-tower/

  5. Joannon 26 Apr 2010 at 3:16 pm

    On Friday around 5:30 PM just before I went home I checked on the Gulf Tower webcam. Louie was sitting on the eggs & all of a sudden Dorie flew back & was chirping at him & standing over him while she did that. He was chirping back at her but he kept turning his head sideways toward the gravel every time she chirped at him. It was so funny-she must have been yelling at him for not getting off her eggs fast enough. He finally got up-& headed towards the board near the camera & then he must have flown off

  6. BuddieMarieon 11 May 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’m very new at this and any knowledge great. This “bowing” thing, is that for real?

  7. Kate St. Johnon 11 May 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Yes, bowing to each other is part of their courtship ritual.

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