Monday, June 23, 2008

Fledging Update

Some reports indicate that Mistic may have flown yesterday, however, this has not been confirmed. The report started with an observation of a falcon going off the ledge, and then a lack of seeing her leg band via the ledgecam for the rest of the day. This could mean she's flown or it could just mean she's on the ledge, just no one has seen her in front of the camera. From my observations so far this morning I have only seen 3 young. Keeping track of fledging can be challenging...

There are several ways we confirm the status of fledging. One way is by eye witness accounts-observers that are able to see either from the street or the falconcam. The view from the falconcam does give us a window to what is going on, but it also has its limitations--areas of the ledge that are not in view and other ledges on the building we cannot see. Another way we track is by leg band reports via the falconcam. These reports are extremely important at this time to confirm which falcons are still on the ledge. Finally, we can also ascertain the status of a fledgling if/when a bird ends up on another building or somewhere downtown where witnesses can confirm ID by reading the leg band. Basically, unless we hear otherwise (crash landing, injury) we assume all is well. Rest assured, the fledglings are in good hands: they have Scout and Orville keeping track of them where ever they end up downtown during this flight/landing training process.

Even after their first flight it is possible that the fledglings will come back to the nest ledge. That often is the true test of success--when they fly and are gone from the ledge a day or two and then come back and we are able to confirm their return with a band ID. So, for those of you who watch and post to the CMNH forum, please continue to record bands whenever possible. I appreciate the extra eyes out there!

I will be in the field on other projects Tuesday and Wednesday so I regret I won't be able to post any updates until Thursday. Many of us at the Division are on-call in case of a situation where we need to intervene. Otherwise, hope for the best--these are wild animals and at this point it is up to their instincts to make it!