Male Peregrine lets the female take the gull to the nest for feeding time
This was our fourth or fifth year observing the Peregrine Falcon nest site just above the Visitors Center at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area just north of Newport, Oregon. We had been watching the parents hanging in the air over a cliff opposite the nest, looking like two kites on strings. After 30 seconds or so and some discussion between them they took off towards the south and the coastline. About five minutes later they returned, the male with a Bonaparte’s Gull. As they called back and forth the male went up in the air, waiting for the female to come under him. As soon as she got into position he transferred the Gull from his talons to his beak and waited for her to come up and grab it. She took what appeared to be two tries- on the second she secured the Gull and then quickly went ‘turbo mode’ and flew off to the nest where she began to pluck the feathers and rip off chunks of meat for their three chicks to eat. An updraft had those feathers flying straight up as if a pillow fight was going on. The male disappeared after the transfer and ‘mom’ took over all the duties of meal preparation. Amazing to witness.