The last ledgling
Tuesday May 17th 2011, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

Shadow fluttered to the low ledge behind the nestbox yesterday and considered the louver below where he’d so often previously heard his parents as they’d perched (where the kids couldn’t see).  It was close by, an easy hop skip and a jump, but again and again, he turned away from seeing the dropoff also there, down, down down beyond anything familiar. He preferred to be a grounded individual.

But he was outside the runway that had been his entire view but for the sky all his life till the last few days and there was no going back. Still–he slept tail to the edge and head towards the box as he snuggled tight against the concrete wall, facing the home he had known.

Clara stood guard in the night in her usual spot on the high ledge a few feet away. Ready to swoop over to guard and guide him at all times.

Today, mostly back in the runway area again, he practiced flapping a number of times but with intermittent rain for yet another day, seemed in no hurry. One wing would raise higher than another, testing testing one two three how does that wind feel against these newly long feathers am I supposed to move these in tandem or- ? And what do you do with these big feet at the same time? Raising wings and one foot didn’t do it. Shall we dance?

Mid-afternoon, it occurred to me that the rain had stopped and the wind seemed to have settled down out there.

I guess he noticed it too. He flew the length of the upper ledge, came right to the very end past the nestbox and I thought surely momentum would carry him right on over–and he stopped right there.

Looked down.

Okay, well, that’s that, I thought.

And then, suddenly, deliberately, he raised his shoulders high and flew away out of camera sight as if he’d done it all his life. (To the louver, it turned out, just for that first little bit.)

From the reports later, it’s clear he had taken the patience to practice and wait till he was going to be good at it, and then he was good at it. The BOG, ie boots on the ground, the official fledgewatch crew looking out for our birds, reported all five falcons in the air at once as they tried to keep track of who was who going where.

It is night again. All three fledglings accounted for and safe.

And overlooking both the city and the empty box all her babies have hatched from, Clara stands, sentinel and witness.

To life!

9 Comments so far
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What a wonderful writer you are

Comment by Marianne Rehfeld 05.18.11 @ 6:26 am

These are such fun to read.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 05.18.11 @ 7:42 am

Yay Shadow!! I can totally relate to your philosophy… 😉

Comment by Channon 05.18.11 @ 8:26 am

I must say that your description matches the videos, which are fun to watch. What I don’t understand is how you tell one bird from another. At least mine are completely different colors.

Comment by Don Meyer 05.18.11 @ 8:54 am

Thank you so much for sharing the video too! I got all teary. It reminded me so much of my dd’s as each one of them got brave enough to go off a diving board for the first time. And these little guys are doing something so much more dangerous, with no coach on the sideline calling, “You can do it!” I’d never thought much about the bravery needed to grow up.

Comment by Carol Telsey 05.18.11 @ 9:15 am

What a wonderful reminder that patience is important. Funny how some kids just daringly jump in without much forethought, and others are more careful where they tread.

Comment by marti 05.18.11 @ 9:19 am

L’chai-im! so awesome to see them flying

Comment by Bev 05.18.11 @ 9:42 am

You are indeed a talented writer. I will look for more writings and comments about the SJ Peregrines on this site. Please continue to update.

Comment by Barbara 05.18.11 @ 2:43 pm

Very enjoyable reading….you have a marvelous talent for writing and I thank you for sharing it.

Comment by Sharon (Idaho) 05.23.11 @ 8:47 am

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