Out of the woods

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Well, that’s two chicks literally out of the woods, for now.

Anna and Lorraine arrived for the first shift to find only one female chick left on the nest ledge, and no sign of the other. Luis was still up on the roof, where he spent the night.

An extensive search of the area didn’t turn up the missing chick, but they did see one of the adult Peregrines flying over to the treed area southeast of the building, behind the construction zone, to chase off some American Crows. This behaviour pointed to the chick being somewhere in the trees. Unlike the dead ash where Luis spent a good part of yesterday afternoon, these trees were dense with leaves, and the Peregrine chick was too well hidden for any of us to find.

After Lorraine left, I checked the trees again from every angle, the decided to return closer to base camp and keep an eye on the trees from there. Eventually, I thought, she would have to fly out of there, and I would have a better chance of spotting her from further back.

Manaus imitates a bat. June 28, 2014.

Manaus imitates a bat. June 28, 2014.

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The falcon-razzi.

Faceplant, June 28, 2014.

Faceplant.

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Ready to fly again. Not.

Meanwhile Susanne arrived for her first ever shift, which she handled like a pro. She kept an eye on Luis and the unfledged chick while I watched the trees, until a gaggle of birder/photographers showed up to see the falcons. Nice timing. They had only been there briefly when action erupted over on the main building. Luis made another attempt at landing on the nest ledge, and this time one of the adults tried to help him get there. At the same time, I looked up to see the female chick flying right over me on her way back to the building!

Glad as I was to see her, I worried that she was flying too low to make it all the way. Ultimately, we found her clinging, bat-like, to the vertical surface above the very lowest ledge. She hung on desperately for a couple of minutes before finally dropping to the ledge, then scurrying over to the far right side. And there she sat for a while, just 20 feet or so off the ground. Better than being suck in a tree.

The photographers were thrilled at this opportunity to shoot a Peregrine chick from such close proximity. Ivanhoe also obliged with a few slow-motion fly-bys and a visit to the chick, while Rowena and Luis continued to make regular appearances.

The female chick — Dominique suggested Manaus as a name, for the Brazilian city — eventually assumed the faceplant position and slept. She woke up in time for Jorgen, Chris and Marie’s arrival, followed by Steve’s guest appearance. There was much speculation that she would fly, and she certainly acted like she wanted to get back up to a more lofty ledge, but no dice.

I went home to eat lunch and take a very long nap, and when I came back, Chris, Marie and Frank were still waiting for that next flight. Luis, meanwhile, was still trying to get back to the nest ledge, and he succeeded! There was a joyful reunion between fledged brother and unfledged sister, a lot of wing flapping, and a lot of squawking for food. The adults obliged at last — after first luring Luis out from the ledge and back again. We’re not sure in the end who got to eat, but we hope Luis got most of it. We don’t want the remaining chick to pack on too much weight or she’ll never fly!

When I left at 7, Manaus was still pretending she was going to try flying again.

Chris and Manaus check each other out, June 28, 2014.

Chris and Manaus check each other out, June 28, 2014.

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