This morning, RCF was out checking on the peregrines and it seems that Miss Very Lucky failed the lay-up to her landing at McKenzie Seeds and dribbled* down the side of the building and got trapped behind the security fencing. The building is unoccupied now and there have been some problems with break-ins so they have erected very secure fencing, the kind that is difficult to get under, over or around. Folks nearby said the chick had been calling for a while – they thought maybe a day, day and a bit. Now chicks yell a lot at this stage of development so it was possible she’d been there for all, most or just part of the time. To us, it didn’t really matter – chick screaming on one side of the fence, rescuers on the other side of the fence. Problem 1 – how to get in. Problem 2 how to get out. Problem 2.5, how to get out safely with a really annoyed, peregrine falcon.
So while AKD and BC were on their way to help out, RCF was busy scoping out possible plans of attack on-site. And once again, I was only able to provide moral support and work out plans for once the bird was rescued – how to transport her to rehab if needed or back up on a roof for release. Fortunately, the chick wasn’t in imminent danger and not going anywhere so we had the time to get ourselves ready for whatever came our way. Eventually, our forces marshalled, derring-do at the ready, we had countdown for the rescue-of-the-year. Three, two, one and suddenly there was flash of wings overhead that grabbed everyone’s attention. AKD thought a peregrine, RCF thought it could be a pigeon. While BC set up the ladder to get over the fencing, RCF and AKD went to check and found a peregrine chick sitting on the sidewalk across the street looking as surprised they were. The Flash had fledged and like her sister, grounded on her first flight. Meanwhile, BC had clambered up the ladder only to find himself looking at an empty space – where was Miss Very Lucky? In the confusion of Flash’s fledging, it seems that MVL had launched herself out of her confinement.
Crisis averted, high-fives all around! Oh, wait, what about Flash? RCF and AKD decided that they weren’t leaving her to get into trouble like MVL had on her first fledge (we think the chicks are the same gender and for the moment, still think they may well be females). So with a towel in hand, they stalked toward Flash. Flash however had other ideas and and took matters into her own talons. She leapt up onto the hood of one car, then another and then a third, all to avoid her would-be-rescuers. Ungrateful little wretch (just kidding). Her next leapt took her up and away from danger and onto the roof of a low building across the street from the nestsite.
On her way back to McKenzie Seeds, RCF spotted MVL on the low roof below the nestbox … eating … as though half the town hadn’t turned out to save her from a fate seemingly worse than death. Now April and Wingo would have kept her fed so long as they could reach her – and they certainly could reach her behind the fence. Instead, April had been flying around with breakfast and it seems that MVL was expected to dine with upstairs with the family, not in the basement with who knows what. Food is often all the incentive a young peregrine needs to do all sorts of things it doesn’t want to do. It certainly was enough to “encourage” MVL to get herself up and out. Finally BC could get down from his ladder and everyone could laugh about getting two adventures for the price of one! AKD and BC packed up and headed off to save, serve and protect wildlife elsewhere and RCF settled back down to be sure that Flash didn’t fly into some new difficulty. After about 20 minutes, Flash flew back across to McKenzie Seeds to join her mother & sister.
Thanks again to RCF, AKD and BC for being ready, willing and probably able, to risk life and limb to save two chicks that fortunately, didn’t need our help at all. Hopefully our young peregrines will find new adventures, ones that are on the top of buildings, not on the ground!
* technical term, means they had a controlled descent down the side of a building