Singin’ in the rain
Tuesday May 25th 2010, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Life,Wildlife

Another peregrine post–they grow up so fast, the season’s so short.

Maya made it into a palm tree this morning but was being harassed by some crows. (Note that one of the San Francisco fledglings died on its first flight last year while being chased by ravens.)  Her mother tried to help out.  Her father finally decided he’d had enough of that and buzzed them: Don’t you mess with my daughter!

They didn’t let up.  He divebombed them–at which point they backed off and gave her her space.  She flew out of that badbird neighborhood.

I noticed the peregrines did indeed eat crow later at lunch. So there.

Maya flew around near City Hall, bit by bit, losing altitude perch by perch as she flew without quite making it home. One report said she’d climbed five flights of outside stairs! You know, you *are* a bird, there’s an easier way to do that…

Finally she ended up on the ground right in front of the main door of the Rotunda at City Hall, exhausted, a peregrine protester, declaring emphatically that it is indeed true: you can’t flight City Hall.  Binoculars on the ground had been following her, City Hall was notified, and so it was that the facilities people surrounded her in a circle till the rescuers could get to her.

And then like last year, it was a hat, a box, a trip up the elevator, a dousing on an already-rainy day just to make it clear she was not to fly off in a panic while the rescuers fled the roof but was to sit there and take it easy.

And she did.  Real easy. Mostly she hid her face from that scary edge, still not used to this heights thing, staying in one place and snoozing her fatigue off.  Meantime, her parents–and her brother!–did flybys around and around overhead, screaming warnings to the two-legged intruders in their territory.

Kekoa couldn’t keep it up too long with his still-short wings, though. He took a rest, then eventually a short hop up to where his sister was and stayed right by her and kept her company like a good little brother.

But the little scamp couldn’t resist sticking his head over the edge, watching the camera following him, eyeballing it and playing peek-a-boo again.  Oooh, is it still there? Is it still moving? Does it taste good? If I sit on it again will it hatch?

At one point, EC flew into the nest when none of the others were around and hopped over to where the remains of his son Little Boy Blue still lay.  He stood there, head bowed towards it as if considering, for several long moments.  Then to my great surprise he tried to bury a part of it in the gravel in the nestbox.

Then he flew.

After something like six hours, finally the parents brought food down to the runway area and that did it:  Maya came down and got a good bite. The cameras switched to her just seconds before and caught her going over and most of the way down, wings flapping properly. There now, dear, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

She is on the upper ledge behind the nestbox for the night. Kekoa is on the louver where he can keep an eye on her.

I’m grateful to those who took the time to be the boots on the ground ready to rescue as needed. (I can just imagine the crick in one’s neck after doing that all day.)  They were needed.

And all is well now in falconland.

(Added later) Okay, here’s something new: it’s 10:30 pm and *Clara* is in the nestbox! With her daughter standing sentry!  Clara has a classic spot where she spends her nights where she can see her young in the box, once they’re old enough and it’s warm enough that they don’t need to be tucked under her wings but she still wants to watch over her flock by night. The city lights fill the upper background, the runway below; it is the iconic shot of her.

I watched. She came out and flew up to her usual spot.  There you go.  Maya, who earlier in the night had been pancaked flat like a young falcon does, is standing there, too, at the end of that same ledge. Watching over her brother below.

4 Comments so far
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Oh, EC and his burial made me choke up a bit… Such emotions and tenderness from these birds.

Comment by Channon 05.26.10 @ 7:04 am

so amazing — and I so enjoy the educated commentary so I know what I’m watching!!


Comment by Bev 05.26.10 @ 8:04 am

I am loving following along. Very touching how the Father buried the little one, sad. g

Comment by gMarie 05.26.10 @ 8:25 am

“If I sit on it again will it hatch?” Well, of course. Pictures.

Daddy burying baby — maybe the birds are as civilized as humans. Maybe more.


During basic training the platoon was given a choice of going to the gym or the PX. With a show of hands, the recruits voted for the PX. “Uh, uh,” said the sergeant. “You’re going to the gym.” “But sarg,” whined one recruit, ”we voted for the PX.” “Let me explain,” said the sergeant, “You’re here to defend democracy, not practice it.”

Comment by Don Meyer 05.26.10 @ 10:37 am

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