High-drama day

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June 28, 2014.

Wow. That was a stressful day.

When we last left the three Data Centre chicks, there were two on the nest ledge (the unfledged female and Luis, who found his way back there on Saturday evening. The fledged female was last seen on the lowest ledge below the nest ledge.

When I returned this morning at 5:30, no one was in the right place. One adult was on the ledge immediately below the nest ledge, one female chicks was on the ledge below that, and the nest ledge was empty. Lorraine arrived soon after, and we confirmed that there were no other chicks to be seen — until Luis appeared and joined his sister on her ledge.

Expecting another episode like yesterday’s, we began scanning the myriad trees surrounding the Data Centre. Meanwhile, Luis flew off again, and the female flew to the roof of the lower annex building. Despite the adults dropping off food for these two screaming chicks, we could neither hear nor see the third. We heard no crows harassing anyone, and we did not see the adult Peregrines chasing any crows or otherwise acting in a concerned manner. We walked wider and wider circles around the Data Centre grounds, to the other side of Bronson and Heron, and even back to the CSEC building. But we found no hint whatsoever of the chick’s whereabouts. Puzzling.

Anne arrived for her shift, Lorraine left, then Jennifer arrived. Chris and Marie came early to help look for the missing chick. We searched high and low, and speculated about her fate. My energy was flagging in the already oppressive mid-morning heat, so I grabbed a handful of almonds and my water bottle and set out for another loop around the back of the annex. I scanned trees, the RA roofs and swimming pool, the sports fields, the roads.  Anywhere I could think of.

When I got to the northwestern corner of the property, I turned around and began a long walk back to base camp. Except I decided at the last second to take a look around the corner, along the ramp leading from Bronson northbound to Riverside easbound. And there she was, perched in a pine tree on the hill that drops down toward the RA Centre and the Rideau River.

And now is the point in the story that I realize I’m falling asleep while typing (or typo-ing, perhaps). So here’s a photo and the two most important facts:

  • We still have three chicks
  • The Netherlands beat Mexico in their World Cup match! Hup, Holland, hup!

I’ll try to relate the rest of the day’s tales in a future post.

2 thoughts on “High-drama day

  1. I had a great experience at my first ever falcon watch. It was exciting and I’m very glad the three eyases were accounted for at the end of my shift.

  2. Another great day for flying!

    I arrived in the early evening and not long afterward had the privilege of watching five Falcons in the air at once.

    That was topped off by my first clear observation of a food drop by one of the parents. It was quite large and dark; most likely a Crow hanging like a rag doll under the clutch of the adult’s powerful talons.

    I can’t wait to see chick number three fly some more. She seemed so unsure about this whole thing. After all, it was her first day of flight. Frank and I left her last night on top of the annex building. She was quite content to stay put laying on her belly marvelling about the wonders of flight.

    I hope she gets fed this morning as both her parents made a food drop to her siblings who were atop the main building but she was never observed being fed; maybe her parents made an earlier drop to her or she was already nicely fed pre-fledge.

    Can’t wait for more!