I decided to check on the Peregrine Falcon's in downtown Worcester today after seeing the report yesterday at Rick's site about the fledged juvenile so off I went first thing in the morning to see if I could get a glimpse of it. I'd make my way toward where they've been seen and see something on the roof of the Bank of America Tower and realize they were some very brave window washers. This can't be good I'd think remembering how fierce the female's been toward them in the past, but all would be quiet on the falcon front so figured she must have mellowed in her new location and all the commotion that goes on there on a constant basis.
I'd crank out a bunch of work and head over there again before lunch. The sun would be out by then and the gas truck gone so had a spring in my step and a good hunch I'd finally get to see the chick. I'd make my way around the bend, check the cross for the male who would still be there but then something on the ledge of the People's United Building would catch my eye.
OMG I'd think, she looks awful, almost lethargic. I'd stand there for a while hoping she'd get up to perch but she wouldn't. I'd consider doing something to egg her on as she's squawked at me before so she would have no issues in doing so again and it would be then I'd hear the call of the juvenile over near the church and she wouldn't even turn her head to see what was the matter. That's it, I'd think..She has to be ill. I wouldn't even try and catch a glimpse of the juve, but head straight back to the office to put in a call to Tufts. I'd get back to my desk, google the number and place my call.
Wildlife Employee: Tufts Wildlife Clinic
Me: Yes, my name is Kim Allen and I work in downtown Worcester and have been keeping an eye on the Peregrine Falcons over at the People's United Building and am wondering if its normal for an adult Peregrine to be lying down.
Wildlife Employee: Lying down, How so?
Me: Lying down on its belly. Picture how a duck looks when in a pond (grrrr my inner voice would scold ....lame analogy Kim..Couldn't you think of anything better than that..You sound like an amateur)
Wildlife Employee: Is it sitting on a nest?
Me: No, on a ledge (inner voice thinks that would have been a better visual and wishing she'd thought of it before wildlife employee)
Wildlife Employee: How long has the falcon been like that?
Me: (I knew they were going to ask that, they always do)..Ummm. I wasn't there for long but the entire 5 minutes I was there and it looked a little strange to me, not itself in the time I observed it.
Wildlife Employee: I'm going to give you the number to Tom French from Fish and Wildlife who tracks these birds as he knows more about their behavior than I do and it does sound kind of strange that the bird isn't perched.
Me: Thank you...I thought the same thing.
She'd give me Tom's number and of course I'd get his voice mail and leave a long winded message about the female lying down on the People's United Building looking odd, the male on a cross and a fledged chick squacking and hang up wishing I could take it all back and start from scratch..Crap, I'd think.. I didn't even describe how she was laying down and for all he knows I could mean flat on her back and stiff, not good! I did leave one coherent tidbit of info which was I'd go back at one to see if the situation had changed and call him back so was grateful for that at least.
I'd get back to work and remember I forgot to eat lunch but it was the last thing on my mind at that point which kind of bummed me out as I was looking forward to it all morning (Turkey Burgers with blue cheese and bacon, YUM!). In between crunching numbers I'd wonder what would happen to the male if something happened to the female and I'd wonder if he'd stick around or go elsewhere. If he did stick around would he find another mate and most important a mate who could take his laid back ways? Yes, I happen to find him charming of course, but there's been some tense moments between the two in the past.
Like this for example, taken three years ago when she was on nest duty and he was on the ledge looking at his feet. She kept squacking at him wanting to be relieved but he essentially ignored her so she flew over to where he was to give him a piece of her mind. Like I said he's rather laid back.
That's it, I'd think, I'm heading back and at 12:47 exactly off I went to check on the situation. I'd see a strange form on the ledge facing Front Street and whip out my bins for a better look.
Well this looks encouraging I'd think, at least she's moved...But I still wasn't convinced.
So she'd take me out of my agony and turn around looking as healthy as a horse. Must call Tom right away and tell him to ignore previous message as it was clearly an over reaction on my part. :-p. But of course not until I check out what's going on at Notre Dame which is where I heard all the commotion earlier
I'd see the male perched on the cross and after some scanning I'd spot the juvenile on the roof to the church.
As far as the bizarre behavior of the female, I'm going to sum in up in three ways.
1. I over reacted.. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner
2. She was tired and who can blame her as being a mom is hard work
3. She won't leave the ledge as there are other chicks yet to fledge. Purely a guess, but remember I thought I heard two begging calls a couple of weeks ago so guessing there's at least one I have yet to see.
I'd make my way back to my office starving and anxious for lunch.
I'd call Tom back up and apologize for the false alarm but he was thrilled to hear from me none the less as all of this was news to him and had no idea about the nest location or whether they were successful. I told him I'd keep him updated as soon as I found out more info so I guess my over reaction paid for itself in the end which is nice to know.
Take care all