Oh sweet Mondays! A day most people loathe but with the shift I work, it's an extra day of play. I can pretty much forget about Tuesday to Friday though but that's another story.
I pondered ignoring the Falcons today since Sunlife is officially over. My next real watch will be up at Osler in approximately 3 weeks. But the idea of going back over to Harlequin's famous pair appealed to me. I was at the banding for these chicks so it would be nice to see how they are doing after the last couple weeks.
I already knew the young male, Blaze, had been flying since Friday or somewhere around there. His sister Mira took flight over the weekend. And on my way to Harlequin, Amora made her first flight.
Lucky for us who want to get a good close up view (and photo) of a Peregrine Falcon, she didn't end up in the best of spots being behind Harlequin, on the ledge and canopy at the back entrance. But not so lucky for her...
I was at the site for about 2.5 hours. And was left alone with Amora at one point for about 45 minutes or so. Mark was the only other "watcher" there at this time and he had to go scope out Amora's sister Mira who had once again taken flight to ????? So, it was pretty cool in one way, for me to be standing here so close to this young Falcon. I'd never been this close to a non-captive bird of prey before. As the first moments passed, I began to feel some nervousness within. Because here I am doing what we do through most of fledge watch, which is watching. But now, if she takes flight again, it would be a new experience for me... to follow her and in this case, most likely have to rescue her. Why rescue? Amora is too low to the ground to be able to take proper flight. So if she chose to leave this spot, she would end up on the ground. I got the details on how to catch a young Falcon a few times since we started helping out with the watches last Spring. But hearing how to make a rescue and actually making a rescue are two very different things. I stood there, with a large towel over my shoulder and waited. I would have felt better if a more experienced person was with me but volunteers can be few and far between, especially during business hours on weekdays when most are working.
Amora would walk along the canopy to the edge, and then return back to the ledge and sometimes stare into the offices. A big new world was in front of her and you could see her confusion often overpowering her curiousness.
During my time alone with her, I could see her getting restless. She wanted to leave this spot but lacked the confidence to make the next move. I felt I lacked the confidence in my own mind, on what to do, playing over a possible scenario of her coming to the ground somewhere in the parking lot. But the others have told me, when it happens, you just do it. You re-act quick and don't think too much into it. The jist of it with a rescue on the ground is getting a towel over the bird and scooping it up, keeping the wings in on their body without applying too much pressure and watching out for those talons, holding it as such the talons are facing away from you. And depending on where this all takes place, keeping an eye out for one of the parents.
Amora put on a good show. She made me feel a lot of things during this time. More emotions than any movie I have ever watched or book I have read. And in the end, she just couldn't do it. She stayed up on the ledge; and that is where she stayed all day, and I do mean, all day long.
From just before 9am until close to 9:30pm when Mark Nash of CPF and
some volunteers made the rescue, catching her with a large net and
returning her to a much higher level back near the nest, giving her a chance to eat, and rest, with her family, to try again tomorrow.
So tomorrow is now today. I won't be visiting the site again this week. I can only have hope for them, like I do with all the others, and wait for reports from those at this watch.
Here are a few more photos of Amora...
Preening and pulling out the down feathers.
What a good looking bird!
The many goings-on got her attention especially some American Robins flying in and out of some nearby trees. She'd stretch her neck out and triangulate in their direction.
A lot of show with flapping wings but no go.
I did make a visit to the Sunlife site as well on Monday. I saw one adult and one young both perched during the hot afternoon.