Falcon names

Data and Ivanhoe fly together. Photo by Frank Marshall.

Okay, it’s been tried out for a couple of days, and it appears Chris Traynor’s suggested names for the adults will stick. When Chris first saw the male, he remarked on how strikingly handsome he was, and that he should be named Ivanhoe, after the hero of Sir Water Scott’s historical novel. Following the Falcon Watch literary precedent set by Daisy and Gatsby, that would make the female adult Rowena. I’m still getting used to it, but then, I have trouble naming my own pets, so I’ll trust Chris’s judgement on this.

Our male chick also officially has a name, which makes it a lot easier for volunteers to jot down their observations — writing “male chick” gets tiring after a while. Nancy Scott and I decided yesterday that the Marshall family should have the honour of naming him, since Dominique is the person who alerted us to the new Peregrine Falcon family and the Marshalls have been longtime Falcon Watch volunteers. So apparently they bandied some names about and chose Data, as in the Star Trek character but also the name of the building the birds call home. While there’s absolutely nothing robotic about Data’s soaring, the name seems to fit.

Speaking of his flying, Data continued to reach for the sky this afternoon and evening — over and over and over again. He seemed to have a eureka moment this morning when he figured out just how awesome his wings were. This revelation continued all afternoon, and he soared so high he disappeared for several minutes, according to Chris, Marie Clausén and Frank Marshall. When I got there at 5 p.m., he was still busy practicing landing on different ledges, soaring and flapping, and chasing his mother (sorry, Rowena) around the building, begging for food. He even chased her from her perch on the security camera a couple of time!

Data and his sister, June 17, 2012, Photo by Frank Marshall.

Ivanhoe, meanwhile, was busy hunting pigeons but came back empty-taloned, so poor Data went to sleep hungry even though he richly deserved a huge meal. His sister (name still not entirely confirmed) had no dinner either. She seemed eager to fly several times today but didn’t quite take the leap. Both her parents encouraged her by putting on slow-motion flying demonstrations and by landing briefly on her ledge, then taking off again when she approached. Her brother was also in on the ploy, to no avail.

After much wing-flapping and mini-flights onto the ledge edge, she appeared to hunker down for the night. Data, the sweetheart, joined her and they snuggled up together, dreaming of feeding and flying.

There are still many volunteer slots to fill in the coming weeks. If you can help, please email volunteer@falconwatch.ca, or call Nancy Scott at 613-253-1490 or 613-761-8140.

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