Nest Taken Over By New Male Bird

This photo taken by Imelda Joson on March 22 shows Merri (left) and Lance together on the roof of Fox Hall. Image by Imelda Joson
Merri (left) and Lance together on the roof of Fox Hall on March 22, 2016.


The adult male intruder falcon that veteran falcon watcher Imelda Joson first spotted last December has now taken over the nest at Fox Hall from Lance. On March 29, she saw the intruder, which is younger and bigger than Lance, aggressively attack the latter, who is blind in one eye. Merri even teamed up with Lance to drive the bird away. That evening was the last time Joson saw Merri and Lance together on the roof of the building. He has not been seen since then.

Joson spent the next five days looking for Lance around the East, North and South Campuses as well as downtown Lowell, and even up to Nashua, N.H., without success. β€œI could see Merri calling out for Lance day and night,” she says. β€œIt was heartbreaking!”

On March 31, fellow falcon watcher Ursula Goodine reported Lance missing to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. Since there has been no report of an injured bird to the wildlife office and the local police department, Goodine is hoping that Lance is OK and had just moved to a different location.

Around the same time, the intruder could be seen in the video camera going inside the nest box and courting Merri. Merri had no choice but to accept him as her new mate. On April 2, falcon watchers Esther Joson and Sabrina Pedersen saw the new bird mating with Merri.