Dateline:  Cleveland, Ohio
March 4, 2015

The 2015 peregrine falcon nesting season is underway at Boomer and Newton's home sweet home located on the 12th floor ledge of a skyscraper called "Tower City" in downtown Cleveland, Ohio
(look for red label showing nestbox location)
The following is a view from the nest looking down on Cleveland’s Public Square. The falcon In the 
picture is SW, the female for the past 12 years at this nestsite, who Newton replaced. Although no
one knows for sure, it is believed Newton may have fought a battle with SW - and won.

This year, falcon fans are unsure as to how nesting season will go. Newton is nearly 14 years old. According to the Midwest Peregrine Society, a wild peregrine’s lifespan is about 10-12 years, although captive peregrines have been known to live to about age 25 years. Last year, Newton raised only one chick which may suggest she is coming to the end of her ability to hatch and grow healthy chicks. Peregrines often lay between
2-5 eggs per season. The following photo of Newton was taken a few years ago.

A larger worry for falcon fans has been the presence of a mystery female falcon in the area who might have been challenging Newton for her mate and nestsite. According to nest monitors, Mr. and Mrs. Saladin, as daylight hours get longer and the temperature warms up, encounters between peregrines who are driven by instinct to nest become more frequent and intense. This proved to be the case - but the mystery female did not challenge Newton, she challenged and defeated another female at a nearby nestsite.  

Warning: the following account is about a battle and demonstrates that it is survival of the fittest in the world of the fierce peregrine falcon. Here are Mr. and Mrs. S’s incredible photos and description:

“We had mentioned that we were anticipating a showdown in this area, as we have been consistently seeing an unbanded female "floater" perching around the West 3rd Bridge area for over a month. We assumed it was a matter of time before either the floater intensified her efforts to pair with a mate at one of the local nest sites or one of the local resident females would drive her out as nesting time looms.”  

The scene of the battle is a nestbox located on a bridge in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The story begins as the mystery female flew boldly into the nestbox with the resident pair inside….

Click here to read what happened earlier
Mr. and Mrs. Saladin had been watching Hope for months, and it was sad for them to watch. “Although we can't say for sure, we're assuming from what we saw that Hope fought to the death. Battles like this are a sad but real part of nature and the peregrine world, and although it's difficult to imagine watching Hope for months and very likely losing her in one day we'll be moving on as the peregrines will”.

“They say that peregrines may mate for life, but they won't grieve for a moment. This adage was true to life in this case in the course of one day…..”

In the following picture, the victorious female returned to her new nestbox where Bolt (the male at this nestsite) awaited with food which he gave to the new female. This demonstrates that he has already begun to bond with a new mate. He had originally brought the food for Hope, but in just a short time, Hope was gone and he accepted the new and victorious female. It is hard for humans to understand falcon ways, but the survival of a healthy species rests on such behavior.  
Will another female show up and challenge the older Newton for her nest and mate? Will there be eggs?

Stay tuned for falcon news…….

To watch the falcons live go to: http://www.falconcam-cmnh.org/news.php Our thanks to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for sponsoring the FalconCams and for the still.

The photo of the Tower City skyscraper is courtesy of falcon fan Tony Rinicella. The photo of Public Square
is courtesy of nest monitor, Mr. Scott Wright. Thanks to volunteers Mr. and Mrs. Saladin for the picture
of Newton and pictures of the battle.  

The resident female, Hope, chased the intruder from her nestbox. In the following photo you can see them as they skirmished in the air against the backdrop of the Terminal Tower building which is Newton and Boomer’s home.
They came together and skirmished, challenged and chased each other………….
Meanwhile, back at Tower City and Newton and Boomer’s nestbox, the snow is melting and the birds are thinking about spring and new life.  

Click here to read what happened next
Click here to read what happened earlier
Click here to read what happened next