Monday, August 25, 2008
Peregrine Falcon Still Close to Home
Peregrine falcons are an endangered species in Pennsylvania.
This spring (May) four peregrine falcon eggs hatched from eggs high above downtown Allentown, atop the P P & L headquarters building at ninth and Hamilton Streets. Four peregrine falcons hatched from these eggs, the first falcons born in Lehigh County in some time.
In no time at all the fledglings spread their new wings and took flight. Sometime after the immature falcons were airborne a falcon was spotted in the Union and West End Cemetery which is located at 10th and Chew in Allentown; practically in the shadow of the P P & L building. Whether the spotting's were of one of the parents or a juvenile falcon, it is hard to say.
The on Sunday of this week (Aug 24, 2008), with a work party in the cemetery, a falcon kept close watch on the proceedings, no doubt hoping that a lawn mower would scare up a rabbit or perhaps a snake. The falcon seemed undeterred by the close presence of the work crew, perched high atop one of the obelisk monuments, quiet close to the workers.
The new juvenile falcons were banded while atop the P P & L building. In the photos taken on Sunday it is difficult to determine if a yellow band is present on the right leg of the bird, but it seems so in some of the shots. Not being an expert at such matters, I would hesitate to declare that this is a juvenile bird as opposed to one of the parents, but it appears to me to be an immature bird.
Experts have indicated that it is unlikely that the offspring will stay in the area. It is expected that the parents will return each year to the same nest. Perhaps the parents and the juveniles are waiting the approach of fall before migrating southward. With cooler weather and prevailing winds, they should all take flight in the very near future.
The cemetery is already the hunting grounds of a pair of red tailed hawks, Appears that we can expect visits from the male falcon as well once new eggs are laid in the nest next spring.
Allentown is fortunate to have this wonderful historical cemetery in their mist. It is a shame that the home owners living close to the cemetery don't do more to help keep it clean and tidy.
The cemetery is in the Old Allentown Historical District and we are proud of it's history and it's beauty, it is a shame that others do not embrace it as well.
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