If you haven’t read this piece about creating a little unexpected peace on earth, I highly recommend it.
Meantime, we had a bit of drama in falcon land (link goes to the cam) today. The San Jose eyases are quickly shedding the last of their baby down as their feathers come in, their coloring darkening by the day–but their flight feathers are not in yet. They’ve got about a week to go. Eric’s photos from Saturday here.
They’ve been exercising their wings and gradually picking up on the idea. First you jump up to the lower ledge, then get down from that scary place with a whole big new world way, way down there and go huddle in the corner with your siblings, face to the nice solid wall. Later you slightly lift off (in surprise) as you flapflapflap running down the runway, your talons dragging low, not quite entirely willing to give up concrete places, then as those flight feathers keep coming in and your shoulders get stronger and your feet are tucking up better you take that huge leap of faith and reach the upper ledge your parents so often come and go from–or you miss on the first try, oops, as one of them did once.
And then at last you start keeping the fledge watchers on their toes.
They’re not assembled yet. The babies have only been reaching the lower ledge for a few daysÂ now.
Clara brought in food this afternoon, and one of the young got so excited he raised his wings for joy halfway down the runway, flappercized some more towards that low ledge–and poof, he was gone.
There were some stiff winds going on and one had simply picked him up and flung him off.
The cameras panned everywhere. No sign.
To quote the children’s book, Are You My Mother, “Down down down. It was a long way down.”
About a dozen volunteers immediately jumped in their cars and drove in to look for him.
Every year posters go up around City Hall and San Jose State University and the big library at that corner describing fledge watch and whom to report to and what to do should one see a downed baby peregrine falcon. Regulars around there know the annual drill well, and when I’ve been there, people on the sidewalk were always pointing out the babies standing on the upper ledge and the parents taking off and landing, 18 stories up.
I’m told they’re very loud and command attention, helping that outreach effort. I hope this year to actually hear that for myself with the new hearing aids.
And so 90/P–the annual schoochildren’s naming contest isn’t even over yet, all the little guy has is his band number–was found by a passerby who knew to call but not touch. He’d landed on a parking garage. Wildlife rescue got the word, who told the biologist who’d helped bring the species back from the brink.Â Glenn Stewart jumped in his car and drove up from Santa Cruz.
The little one is too young to release to the roof to flutter down into the box; he does need those flight feathers, and it’s blowing a good one out there. And so Glenn is taking care of him at home till the wind is predicted to calm down in a few days, having everything needed on hand; in the sky kennel, the baby bird won’t know he’s being fed by a human, and Clara will have no problem taking care of him when he gets put back up at the roof.
He took quite a tumble but birditude and sheer good luck won out and he’s fine and he’s safe. And in the best of hands.
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