Banding Day!

Friday was banding day — something the young peregrines do not care for at all. It’s also pretty stressful for the parents which is why all the humans wear helmets. Once again, the good folks of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI) — along with urban wildlife photographer, Peter Green — scaled the heights up to the nesting box to band the nestlings.

I guess I should stop referring to Peter as an “urban” wildlife photographer as he decamped down to Kent County a few years ago. He now takes spectacular shots of the wildlife down there. Go to his Providence Raptors Facebook page for all the amazing photographs from yesterday (and the new stuff).

This nesting box even predates The Dose. Peter notes: “Four healthy Peregrine Falcon chicks got banded today, raising the total to 77 chicks banded at 111 Westminster in Providence since the year 2000.” He has even created a timeline — a who’s who of the mating pairs — which shows that the number of unbanded birds is increasing. This is good news as it suggests that the wild population is growing.

Now . . . about 111 Westminster Street, a.k.a. the Superman Building: Peter was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, including the future of the nesting box in light of the current massive renovation project:

New building owner wants to remove the box, but the falcons will just lay eggs somewhere else on the building. We’ll see what happens.

I also asked about the red-tailed hawks which have, in the past, built nests in the nooks and crannies around the dome of the state house; they do not seem to need human assistance in this endeavor. But this building has also been undergoing repair and restoration (and the Independent Man has been lifted completely off although I doubt the hawks would care much about that). From Peter:

No hawks at the state house that I know of.

For those unclear where as to where the nesting box is exactly, Green has a spectacular shot of the rooftop with the river in the background which will orient you. This is the view the peregrines (and the pigeons) enjoy every day.

Band of Brothers! All four eyases are male.


Green’s wonderful book is now sold out, which means my copy is worth a lot of money now, but you can still buy prints of his photographs, as well as the famous poster of 111 Westminster which used to be the view out his window when he lived downtown. He also took the picture of the hawks flying around the Independent Man.

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