I haven't blogged about the Peregrine Falcons that have been nesting on a ledge of the San Jose City Hall building lately. While I was away, a volunteer from the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group rappelled down the side of the building and banded and sexed the birds. One male and two females. When I returned from New York, the birds no longer looked like the fuzzy white chicks I remembered. All their feathers were in and they were hanging around the ledge looking at the world below. Everyone has been anticipating their first flights next week.
Well, that was until yesterday!!
The male decided to take a flying leap early and landed on a ledge right outside the staff kitchen on the 15th floor. Volunteers were on it immediately and banded together with binoculars, towels and boxes in case the young fledge needed rescuing from the perils of the downtown area. He took another flight and landed in a tree about a 1/2 block away, perched at the top of a deodora pine. As the winds started to pick up in the late afternoon the fledge decided to head back to City Hall. As he took off, Clara flanked him on his right and Carlos on his left as they urged him up towards the nestbox on the 18th floor. As they turned towards the building, he was unable to gain altitude and flew right into the building and spiraled downward and landed on the sidewalk next to a small tree! An alert volunteer tried to approach the bird to see if he was okay. In his defensive mode, on his back hissing with wings spread and beak and talons up, the brave volunteer managed to capture him in her towel and get him into a box for safety.
After an exam from the people who work for the SCPBRG, it was decided that the bird was not injured, but would spend the night in a safe and secure office at City Hall and would then be released in the morning. At 7am this morning, he was taken up to the rooftop and his feathers were misted down with water so he wouldn't take another flying leap until he got his bearings. He was given a meal and his parents were there to greet him immediately, no worse for the wear.
The SCPBRG has a Flickr site if you'd like to see photos of the birds from the very beginning.