Cooperii and Falco peregrinus
Thursday May 09th 2013, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

Thank you for the kind words yesterday, everybody!

The peregrine that fell and got put back came down from the roof a bit today–not to the nest, whatever his intentions may have been, but off to the side and in front of the mayor’s office. Somehow every year we have one come eye to eye with the man. Pretty cool perch of office, actually.

I parked myself in front of the monitor and was watching the falcon cam while working on a shawl, cheering three birds with one, lone. One of the other two worked up his courage and finally made it to the upper ledge. He was so excited! A whole new view–LOOK at all this stuff down there he’d never known existed! Whole new types of trees, and and and! He ran up and down the length of it, his feet at the outer edge, he jumped over to the nestbox and chased his mom off–the annual make-the-parents-fly-away pre-fledge game. Chased her twice more as the afternoon went on.

After awhile he finally stood still and faced forward and lifted those wings. He had practiced. Mom and Dad were down there encouraging, flying, circling back around.  He was going to do this.

He pumped hard–

–and found himself swept backwards the width of the ledge. THAT wasn’t supposed to happen! Yow. He abruptly stopped, humbled, and folded those wings in tight. The traitors.

But he wasn’t ready to come down from that mountaintop he’d finally conquered.

Dinner was brought in to the runway. He watched his more timid (probably a day younger) little brother devour while he watched from above. Hunger wasn’t enough to make him give it up.

Still didn’t come down. Still didn’t. Still–oh forget it, and he tried again with this flying thing only this time in the small runway area he knew so well and managed to land where his brother, now full, had just dropped the prey. King of the Ledge quietly finished off the leftovers.

My attention was going back and forth between the somewhat-slippery work in my hands and the screen. But suddenly something here caught my eye and I looked to the left.

My stars!

I’ve never seen her before! I’d been sure I’d heard Coopernicus calling to his new mate, she had to exist, but…wow! Female raptors are a third larger than the males and this one was huge, with a notably lighter chest than my male Cooper’s.

She swung those wide wings around in a tight S curve around an awning support pole, then the birdfeeder, and swooped up into a tree.  We regarded each other a moment. She jumped/flew higher to where I couldn’t see her. Not thirty seconds later, there she was again, reversing the S she had just flown in with one last try at flushing something out from the elephant ears as she passed over and away.

I wasn’t the only one impressed by her size and speed: there was not going to be any teasing this one–a squirrel was cowering under the picnic table the whole time, occasionally glancing at me as if to plead Save me!

Hawk, meet my friend. Hawk meat, my friend.

I finally got to meet the new Cooper’s  and from maybe a dozen feet away. Wow.

3 Comments so far
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Wow. Sounds as though your raptor chose – or was chosen – well! Are you going to name her?

Comment by Channon 05.10.13 @ 6:24 am

how amazing!

I was happy to see yesterday that a pair of red headed finches have returned to our yard to nest this spring — not nearly as impressive as your hawks, but welcome just the same

and yes, your hair cut is lovely!!

Comment by bev 05.10.13 @ 8:16 am

Such a juxtaposition of emotion – awe at the raptor, ouch at the pun.

Comment by twinsetellen 05.14.13 @ 4:15 pm

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