Friday, June 07, 2013


So far today, no sign of Zoom on the ledge...she likely has fledged!  There was a confirmed feeding on the ledge last evening, but nothing so far today, that I am aware of.  In fact, there have been few sightings of the adults on the ledge at all today, another good indicator she has flown.  One of the adults did bring in a prey item about 11 a.m. but no sign of Zoom and they left pretty quickly with it. 

Assuming she did fly, unfortunately it seems no one witnessed it so we don't know if it was last evening or this morning or even how it came about (calculated liftoff or a slip!).  If anyone has any saved video or still images or eyewitness accounts, feel free to email them to or via the ODNR contact page and they will be forwarded to me.  Perhaps someone out there saw something that will help us fill in the blanks.

Weather in Columbus today, like yesterday, is cool, damp and very overcast - not good flying conditions, especially for a newbie.  I'd assume where ever Zoom ended up she will probably stay put for a bit not only from the shock of now being somewhere different from what she's known up until this point, but also due to inexperience and the poor conditions for flight.  As is typical in any fledge situation, she'll get hungry and beg for food.  Spark and Durand will be able to find her this way (if they don't already know where she is) and will continue to feed her.  Anyone downtown interested in watching should listen for the begging calls and watch for where the adults are flying to.

Fledge is always bittersweet.  On one hand it's a wonderful success and amazing that an egg can produce a chick that grows into a nestling that's ready to fly in 6 weeks!  On the other hand, lots and lots of people have enjoyed watching her grow (some watching daily) and now the nest is empty and the ledge quiet.  Besides the emptiness of the ledge there is also the concern that she is doing OK.  I would urge everyone to embrace this moment and assume the best!!  This is what falcons do--and have been doing successfully for eons!  It's a part of the natural progression of life as they know it.

From my perspective:   I have been monitoring this site and interacting with fans from all over the world for longer than I will admit at the moment.  For some reason, this year's nest seems to have reached and affected more people than I recall in past seasons.  I'm going to guess it's because of there being only one chick - folks tuning in really focused on the one individual (vs. keeping track of 2 or 3 or 4 chicks).  Over the past several weeks I have gotten a ton of thank you emails for the opportunity to watch the nest and for the information on the blog and will say again to those that wrote in (and to everyone who hasn't but was thinking the same) you are very welcome!  It's a pleasure to share this experience with you and to help you understand it better.

Unless we hear otherwise, we will assume Zoom is fine.  I know folks downtown will let me know if they see her.  And I really hope that within a few days she masters her skills and makes it back to the nest ledge so we all can see that she is doing well.  In the meantime, here's a video of one of her practice runs from yesterday.