Church Tower Peregrine Falcons

FALCON WATCH NESTING BOX

In March, 2014 the Audubon Society placed a nesting box in the bell tower.  The process is as follows:

Concord Monitor photo cut

 

It started with an article in the Concord Monitor several years ago, where a photo was posted showing a Peregrine Falcon having his lunch perched on the steeple cross at the Christian Science church on the corner of State and School Streets.

 

Falcon on tower sm

That stirred up interest, and soon there were multiple sightings, multiple pictures, and the local Audubon Society called the church to see if there would be interest in setting up a nesting box in the bell tower, to encourage some re-population of this wonderful, endangered species in the city of Concord. 

Chris Martinbox placement

 

 

Time passed, and the falcons kept coming back, happy with the plentiful meals that could be spotted from this very high perch. The church members chuckled about just how High that viewpoint was, and about the complete absence of white spots on their building and roof being attributed to the falcon’s prolific hunting.  “Fair price to pay for retaining the pristine exterior,” it was commented. The Audubon’s Chris Martin led the effort to coordinate and create this opportunity. Working with the church’s board of trustees, and eventually the whole membership, he got the green light to build and supply the nesting box for the bell-tower.  Initial survey was completed, and a plan laid out for box size, design, and placement. 

box in truck

The work began early in March. The Audubon was concerned that timing was urgent, because the falcons would look for nesting early, and they had already returned for the 2014 season. Construction was quick, and the nesting box was completed in just a week.

box in place sm

 

Chris Martin adjusts the tethers that anchor the nesting box against the braces that hold it tight to the granite columns. Shingles to give the Peregrines a house they can talk about! The opening in the mesh screen in the portal went so easily, it was like the whole building was smiling with us!

trap door 4 banding

And the Audubon has a secret trap door, under lock and key, to access the nest when it’s time to band the chicks…suggesting this is now in the “Peregrine News” under “New Homes Available: Inquire within”….

view out East

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Tower-+-nesting-box-sm

One Peregrine Plaza, Concord New Hampshire.

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In October, 2013 we heard again from Chris Martin from the Audubon Society that we have now had a pair of Peregrine Falcons perched on the church tower for several months, a male and a female.  On October 8th at our Quarterly Business Meeting the members of our church voted to permit the Audubon Society to place a nesting box on our tower for their arrival next spring.   By identification they think that one of these falcons is the offspring of one previously seen on our church tower last year, so they are fairly certain that they will return to the same place in the spring.

Here are the latest photographs of the pair on our church tower.

Male Peregrine Falcon 

Photo by Chris Martin, PEFA, September 23, 2013

Female Peregine Falcon

Photo by Chris Martin, PEFA, September 23, 2013

In July of 2012 a Peregine Falcon was perched on our church tower.  When I was on my way to our Reading Room on Main Street, Robert Vallieres of the NH Audubon Society had his telescope set up and was taking photos through it of the Peregrine Falcon.  We spoke and he invited me to look at it through his telescope.  What a wonderful site so very close up!  Here are a couple of photos taken by other photographers.  

Photo taken by Jeff Warner, PEFA, August 8, 2012

Photo by Deb LaValley, PEFA, February 19, 2012

 

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