Saturday, January 23, 2010

Peregrine wintering in Dearborn

Wintering Peregrine Falcons are not unusual in Dearborn. Most years we have at least one sighting, and one has wintered every year for the past five years. Since Ford began planting sunflowers and other crops at their local properties, this has been the most common place to find them (Merlins, too). The Ford Rouge Plant has also been another Peregrine "hot spot."

This winter we have a Peregrine in a new location. On January 4, Dearborn police officer and long-time RRBO volunteer Mike O'Leary found a Peregrine at the Village Plaza, the tallest building on the west side of Outer Drive just north of Michigan Avenue. The "A" marker on the map below is the intersection of Michigan and Outer Drive. The red arrow points to the Village Plaza building. Enter off Michigan Avenue, past the sub shop, via the street marked in green on the map.

The Peregrine has been hunting around the building and the adjacent golf course. It likes to hang out on the concrete ledge on the southwest corner of the building. The arrow in the photo below shows where it especially likes to sit.

Believe it or not, the bird is in this photo at the tip of the arrow. While it was clearly identifiable with binoculars, a scope is needed for a good photo. Although the falcon was seen yesterday (January 22) by Mike, my husband Darrin and I -- ready with camera and scope -- did not see it this morning. When we get a shot, I'll post it here, and update the latest date seen. If you happen to go by and get a look, let me know in the comments.

Updates: A day or so after I posted this, Mike let me know that he was passing the Village Plaza when he saw the Peregrine heading west along Michigan Avenue. He followed it all the way into Inkster, when it easily passed Mike's car, going an estimated 65 MPH! Apparently, it hunts rather far afield!

7 Apr: Still present.
6 Mar: Still there!
30 Jan: Seen again today at the Village Plaza.
13 Feb: Now more often hanging out on the Michigan Avenue side of the building (see comments).

4 comments:

maryfinnan said...

We see this peregrine pretty regularly; it's been there since at least the summer. He (she?) also comes to our neighborhood just west of Telegraph. There are also two red tail hawks who tend to hang out in the north east corner of this building. This past fall, the two hawks were together in their usual corner while the peregrine was two floors down in the SE corner. Yet another time, there was only one RT and he was perching on the roof of the adjoining strip mall. Guess he recognized us because he dived bombed our car. Quite the experience! Seeing them makes the shopping trip to the nearby Kroger a far more entertaining outing!

MaryFinnan said...

Have seen the peregrine several times since the 1/29 post, most recently yesterday, 2/13, at about 11 a.m. This time, (s)he was perched at the top of the building, just below the two LLs in Village along the Outer Drive (east) side of the building. The bird was there as I headed to the grocery store and again when I headed back about 20 min. later. Looked like there was a lot of "poop" in that area, so maybe that's become his new favorite hang-out spot.

Julie Craves said...

Thanks, Mary. When we went by the other day, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks were sitting on the building, and I wondered if the falcon had been displaced.

maryfinnan said...

And, my husband reports the P. was there today at around 2pm. Same spot --- at the very top by the LL on the Outer Drive side of the building. Hard to see him when looking straight at the building but easy to spot when coming south on Outer Drive.