Nesting Peregrine falcons
in downtown Tacoma
Tacoma has four new “celebrity” residents living downtown. No, they are not movie stars, rather, they are baby peregrine falcons! Currently, there is a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons located in a nest box in downtown Tacoma. Murray is a local resident of Tacoma with his mate Harriett and every year that he returns is another year he gets closer to the record of a living wild peregrine (about 20 years old). The nest box is supported by building management, WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife), and the Falcon Research Group.
New this year, thanks to a partnership between the FRG and the Tahoma Audubon Society, individual members of the public participated in naming the four new eyasses (baby Peregrine Falcons) that were born in May 2017. The four winning entries were selected at random when the birds were banded. Banding of the birds is an important part of conserving the birds, according to Martin Muller and Ed Deal of the FRG . The bands allow scientists to track population movement, numbers, health, and changes that might be occurring from year to year. The bands contain a unique identifier for each individual bird, and are placed on a specific leg based on the sex of the bird (i.e. right for females and left for males).
In order so that everyone may enjoy watching the mating pair as the eggs are laid and then hatch, Tahoma Audubon Society and FRG are looking to raise money to install a nest camera later this fall (2017). We are also planning on more ways to engage students and people of all ages in these unique Tacoma experience! Stay tuned to the Tahoma Audubon’s Facebook page and this website for more details, and ways to get involved!
Thanks to all of you for participating in our 2017 naming contest for the 4 baby eyasses (falcons) nesting in downtown Tacoma!
We randomly picked 4 winners for the four babies (3 males and 1 female):
Jake - Submitted by Pamela Wimp
Eeyore - Submitted by Peggy L. Lemmer
Chris - Submitted by Sarah Littmann
Hope - Submitted by Krista Joy Strausbaugh
Our 4 winners receive a free, 1-year membership to Tahoma Audubon, and bragging rights! Congratulations!!
Update on May 31, 2017:
Between now and June 13 (date for the 6 week mark) the birds will continue to be active in stretching and using their wings. Fledging happens at about the 6 week mark. Chris, Jake and Eeyore should fledge about 4-5 days before Hope. Hope will also retain more of her down feathers than her siblings for a little longer. That can easily be seen in the below image (captured by Fergus Hyke).
Update on June 9, 2017:
Eeyore's attempt at leaving the nest, was caught on the news! Check it out, the story on KING5 here. Also, enjoy the picture of Eeyore, captured by King5, below. Notice how far along he is in the feldging process, as his feathers are no longer the fluffy down feathers of the baby bird, and now almost ready for flight!
Update on June 10, 2017:
Unfortunately, fledgling success is quite low in the wild, and our downtown Tacoma Peregrines are not immune to the dangers that fledgling bring. On June 10, Chris died in his attempts to leave the nest. The other 3 young peregrines, Hope, Jake, and Eeyore, continue to do well.
Update on June 11, 2017:
Today, Jake gave volunteer onlookers a scare, as he had some difficulty in his practice flying, but he is back with Hope and Eeyore and doing well.
Update on June 13, 2017:
Volunteer onlookers report Hope, Eeyore, and Jake out and active in the morning, while Murray brought breakfast.
Update on June 14, 2017:
Today started off with some great views of napping birds, as well as practice flights. Today was Hope's day to take the dangerous leap off the side of the building, and, unfortunately, it did not go perfectly, and Hope would up being taken to a rehabilitation facility by a caring volunteer.
Update on June 16, 2017:
Hope was reunited with Eeyore and Jake after being cared for and released by a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
Update on June 19, 2017:
Hope, Jake, and Eeyore are all still visible. Hope appears to be continuing to nurse an injured wing (as reported by the Rehabilitation Center she was released from), but she is expected to continue to be on the mend. Eeyore and Jake are expected to continue to attempt flight at any point. Pictured below is Hope hanging out on the roof.
Peregrine Falcons as seen from ground level in May 2017.
Photography by Diane Yorgason-Quinn, Laurel Parshall and Heather Roskelley.