Today was a great day for Fledge Watch at Schenley Plaza.
The weather was good, the chicks walked the nest rail and the parents flew nicely for us. Well actually they flew for their own reasons, but it was nice. Best of all we got to see Dorothy and E2 fly acrobatic maneuvers, bring prey and feed the chicks.
Morning shift (before work): All four chicks waited on the nestrail while both parents were out hunting. E2 arrived with heavy prey in his talons and flapped hard to bring it up to the nest area. He and the four "kids" ate breakfast, then Dorothy arrived with more food. "Incoming!" They weren't hungry so she cached it for a later meal. Suddenly E2 kakked and dive-bombed the roof while the chicks cowered. He saw something dangerous but it went away and he calmed down. Still, he gave me a start! - and I was late for work.
Midday shift (lunchtime): The chicks flapped a lot and the parents flew in great acrobatic demonstrations. This inspired the "kids" to flap even more, but no one fledged.
Evening shift (after work): What a crowd we had tonight! I had so much fun I stayed until 7:45pm. Again all four chicks walked and flapped but no one fledged. At first only Dorothy was babysitting, then E2 called "Incoming!" and arrived with dinner. Rather than drop it off, he and Dorothy did a mid-air prey exchange. While she and the chicks ate he loafed on the lightning rod until he saw a pigeon he thought might be tasty. He stooped off the building like a shot, the pigeon flew an evasive maneuver, put on a burst of speed and got away. Wow! I don't know about the pigeon's heart but ours were racing!
Thank you to everyone who came to the tent. It's been great to meet you and fun to watch peregrines with you.
Come to Fledge Watch at the tent. Maybe they'll fly tomorrow!
(photo by Kim Steininger)