Peregrine falcon mating in Norwalk on the morning of Tuesday, March 6.
Peregrines are an endangered species in Connecticut, according to the state DEEP.
(See progression photos at bottom of this post. Click on”continue reading”)
I’ve been watching a peregrine falcon perch atop a sailboat mast for the last several days. I can see the top of the mast from my work window along the Norwalk River, so I glance out on occasion (probably more than I should) to see if they are there.
On Tuesday morning, which also happened to be my birthday, I saw the falcon perched atop the mast as I walked into work. For the first time, I actually had a little light to work with as the previous sightings came on those gray, misty days late last week. I rushed to the fourth floor, grabbed the camera, went out on the patio and zoomed in as best as possible on the falcon.
I noticed the other falcon perched not far away on a bridge, eating a small bird. Feathers from the unlucky bird floated down to the river.
The bird on the mast started calling. Falcons have a loud and unique sound. I love hearing it. I started taking more shots of the bird on the mast, hoping to get a decent shot of the falcon calling. Suddenly the bird went from perched upright to perched horizontally. Another different position to photo, I thought, keeping the camera up to my face and ignoring all else around me.
Then both birds started calling and the male (which had been on the bridge) landed on the female. I never even saw the male in flight as I still had the camera stuck to my face. From my perspective, the male just appeared into the shot. Talk about luck.
I shot as many shots as I could in the 10 or so seconds the whole mating process took. When it was over the male returned to the bridge and the female remained atop the mast. She stayed there another 15 minutes or so and took a perch on the bridge.
Whoa, now that’s the way to start the day, I thought. (I would imagine the falcons felt the same way.)
The birds were successful in raising young here last year, so I wasn’t surprised they returned. I was surprised, however, that I was lucky enough to catch that moment. Sometimes getting to work a little early pays off.
Here’s the photo timeline: