Migrating peregrine falcons are common on Plum Island, and there is a pair that spends the winter on the City Hall tower in Gloucester. Others can be found in quarries in Saugus and Peabody.
The bird is a “cliff nester” that likes high spots, and some of the most visible pairs are found at Fox Hall at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the New Balance Shoes clock tower in Lawrence, French said.
The red-tailed hawk, meanwhile, can be found on the side of the highway and also in cities, nesting on fire escapes and ledges.
While their natural habitat has decreased, falcons and hawks have adapted.
“Red tails are more sanguine about humankind, so don’t get scared off as easily,” Larson said. “They’re basically open-country hunters, so you would think that with the increase in forested areas in Massachusetts [over hundreds of years] they would be declining, but in fact they’re quite adaptable and can handle edge habitat and relatively smaller open areas.”
Larson noted that at one point last weekend, there were five eagles flying over the Joppa Flats Education Center, on the Plum Island Turnpike.
The increase in raptors, and the chance of seeing some, has sparked interest among the center’s visitors beyond just devoted birders.
“Absolutely,” Larson said. “People get excited about all of the raptors. They’re charismatic.”
David Rattigan may be reached at DRattigan.Globe@gmail.com.