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Eyes to the Skies

Is Courtship In the Air?

I got a nice look at Mariah on the Kodak tower today, and I was able to hear and observe what might have been courtship behavior between her and a male falcon.  Has Kaver returned as well?  The jury’s still out, but you can read more about it and view pictures here:


Jim Pisello


8 Responses to “Is Courtship In the Air?”

  1. Maureen in MA Says:

    Thanks, Jim – great pictures! What is the oldest Peregrine falcon the GVAS has on record?

  2. Debbe Loudenslager Says:


  3. Jim Says:

    @Maureen – I believe the oldest Peregrine we know about was Rhea (Rhea Mae from Mariah’s 2006 brood was named for her). Rhea was a captive bird used in Peregrine repopulation efforts. She lived to the grand old age of 21, but since she was not a wild bird she didn’t have to face the risks that limit the lifespan of “free” birds like Mariah.

    Mae, Rhea Mae’s other namesake, nested at a power plant in Minnesota. I think she produced young for 13 years, which would have made her about 15 years old when she died. I think that’s the longest-lived non-captive falcon that has been recorded but I could be wrong.

  4. Maureen in MA Says:

    Very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to reply, Jim. I appreciate it. Do you know what Peregrines do when it’s their time, i.e., do they go off some place on their own to die, or do they just die of old age wherever they may be?

  5. Alison in Austria Says:

    Either they are killed when they lose a territory fight, they run afoul of the “benefits” of civilization like cars or power wires (unusual for experienced birds), or become injured or sick and can no longer feed themselves, so they just die where ever they are.

  6. Maureen in MA Says:

    Thank you, Alison! I think I was hoping for some more romanticized type of death 😮

  7. Kathy V Says:

    Bet it was nice seeing her flying around up there. Glad she is looking so good, especially for her age. Do you think they will take to their same house, but on a different bldg.? maybe given time, they will check it out and remember it.????Thanks

  8. Kim in Italy Says:

    Maureen, there is no romanticism in a falcon’s death. Maybe I prefer when they are killed in a territory battle. It’s too sad when they have to starve cause unable to feed themselves.
    But if you like, check this link. You’ll find the story of Buckeye from Hilliard (Cleveland, OH), a great beloved tiercel. I guess you’ll be touched though the reality is crude and simple.

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