Wednesday March 01st 2023, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

So there was a falcon, a floater that didn’t have a mate yet. A female peregrine who was hanging around an area near the southern border where a team was trying to reestablish I forget which endangered bird species, but whatever, she needed not to be there.

So she was trapped, taken from San Diego to Shasta County a little south of the Oregon border, and released.

She had her opinions on that and was heading back to where she came from.

But along the way she discovered the 18th floor HVAC ledge with the nesting box in San Jose, she found a mate, they made many a display of owning the place and the egg laying was expected to start this week or next. She was of course promptly named Shasta after her leg band number retraced that history, while her mate was named Sequoia and banded at UC Berkeley a few years ago.

Sunday she started having erratic movements. She stayed in the nest box. Finally I guess she got hungry enough that she needed to go catch a meal since Sequoia wasn’t fully immersed in bringing such to her yet, and she took off.

She was found by the right people and delivered to the wildlife rescue center, where they believed she had a head injury and that a little time off would let it heal. The initial reports were encouraging.

Sunday she passed away. Avian flu is a possibility that they’re testing for–being sick would have explained how she could possibly have collided head-first with anything.

Sequoia stayed perched on the ledge, waiting for her to come back. Looking for her.

Today, nobody has seen him. Not the ones manning the cameras. Not the woman whose office is across from City Hall who’d kept an eye out, hoping.

“He may be off courting a new female,” I said to Richard.

“Or he may have had avian flu, too,” was the response I knew but it was hard to hear.

They were our third set of peregrines to vie for that nesting area over the winter, and there’s plenty of time for a new pair to settle in and raise a family this year.

An unbanded juvenile showed up this afternoon (picture from the cam there) and showed off his gorgeous plumage, and all I could think of was, well, this all started with a brand new building and a juvenile female who showed up one day, an adult male who hung around for a year waiting for her to grow up back when there weren’t many of their kind around to fight him for it nor for him to choose from, and something like a dozen years of her matriarchy thereafter before the site got passed on to the next pair.

So it’s hard. But it’s a start.

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Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 03.02.23 @ 7:29 am

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