Thursday, July 01, 2010

Spirit Takes Flight

This morning Spirit flew of her own accord at 6:04 a.m. - it was a deliberate liftoff from the ledge. Several folks were watching and saving video. This clip includes a slow motion replay at the end (thanks to Pascal for the clip). If you watch closely you can see one of the adults follow her from the next ledge over. We really like to see a falcon leave the ledge "on purpose" like this vs. an accidental fall as happened Monday to both nestlings.

More on Swoop...additional details are known now after video and witnesses on the ground have come forward. It appeared from the video that Swoop was simply making her way down the ledge when she lost her balance and went over the edge. Again, this is not an uncommon way for a peregrine to make its first flight. Eyewitness reports from the ground indicated there was no flapping when the bird was falling. When I retrieved her from the sidewalk I noted that she had an abrasion on the top of her head. I first believed the injury to have occurred when she landed. However, later reports from witnesses indicated she landed flat on her back on the sidewalk. Therefore we can figure that she must have hit the building on the way down. It is likely that the building strike may have stunned her or even knocked her out, thus the explanation to why she was not flapping as she fell. A very unfortunate incident but nothing anyone could have done would have saved this bird.

We wish Spirit much success and hope that she conquers the skies with enough expertise to make it back to the nest ledge. I will post any sightings that I hear of.