Thursday, July 7, 2011

Boston Peregrine Falcon- Nictitating Membrane






On June 16th, the Boston Peregrine Falcon (the remaining male of the Christian Science falcon pair) stopped by our office's window ledge. I assume this is the male of the pair because he is so much smaller than the female that we were used to. Another noticeable trait is how big the male falcon's feet are. Just look at the size of those talons!

You can see the falcon's nictitating membrane up on its right eye. I'm not sure the reason for this, perhaps his eye suffered an injury or infection and he was keeping it up to protect it. At least twice I saw him lower it to look directly at us but he then he put it immediately back up. Does anyone know a lot about nictitating membranes? They've always fascinated me in birds. Here's one of a red-tailed hawk nictitating membrane that came up when it was preening/scratching.

In one of these photos you can see part of the falcon's ID band. It looks like it has the letter I and the number 7 on it.

4 comments:

David Riewe said...

Nice shots, amazing how they adapt to our civilization!

David Riewe said...

Interesting how the falcons adapt to our encrouchment on their habitat. Did you see what it preys on? Nice blog BTW, I subscribed and am following on twitter, look forward to reading

BirdingGirl said...

Thanks David- I'm glad you found my blog. Mostly these falcons prey on smaller birds. I see the evidence on our window ledge (wings and feathers).

Larry said...

Oh-those are great! We have falcons in Portland-I'm going to make more of an effort to get close-up photos of them next year.