Copulating Peregrine Falcons - State Line Lookout, New Jersey


Local pair of Peregrine Falcons mating at the edge of a cliff:

“As with humans, mating isn’t just a way to procreate. Peregrines’ mating activity also establishes and reinforces the relationship, what experts call the “pair bond”. Mating activity for Peregrines may take place many times each day. Female initiates the mating by landing on a convenient perch and lifting her tail. Male, circling nearby will fly to her and land gently on her back to mate before flying off a few seconds later. Some birds have external sex organs similar to mammals, but most, including Peregrines, have something called a cloaca. Both males and females have a cloaca near the end of their tails. The cloaca is a common opening through which the birds expel waste and it is also used as the conduit for reproduction. During the act of copulation the birds touch their cloacas together, at which point the sperm is transferred from male to female. Female stores the sperm in her cloaca until she’s ready to fertilize her egg. Unlike humans, Peregrine females can choose when to fertilize their eggs. That’s a great advantage in the wild. It means that female can store male’s sperm and only begin the egg production process when she’s found a safe nest site.” - 

Video recorded at the State Line Lookout, Palisades Interstate Park, New Jersey.


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