The girls have now joined their brother in fledging. Volunteer nest monitor Mr. Scott Wright tells us the young falcons have been “flapping machines” as they have been working to strengthen their muscles.
On Monday Mr. Wright had to rescue Soarer from the 4th floor roof of the Terminal Tower, which is directly below the nest, and then move her back to the 12th floor ledge. She was unable to fly up from the roof, and she appeared to be hungry and tired. When a fledgling gets in trouble, Mr. Wright puts him or her in a box and they ride the elevator back to the 12th floor.
S/W immediately brought in prey and fed her tired and hungry daughter.
Savvy is now flying successfully. Mr. Wright observed her perched atop the Renaissance Hotel and watched her fly back to the nest area. Here is one of the fledglings heading out toward the Hotel.
Spark has had some flying adventures. Here is some video of him after he flew to a nearby building ledge. It was taken by a worker inside the office.
Our last report described how Spark had been found on the ground in front of his building on Public Square, which you can see below SW in the following picture. Now he has been observed flying very successfully around Public Square.
All three have now taken their first flights. Mr. Wright explains, “The first few months of flying are dangerous for young peregrines as they must learn to fly successfully at high speeds. Think of a teenager who just gotten his or her driver's license and then is handed the keys to a car that can go 150MPH!!! One thing Mother Nature does to help the new flyers survive is to give them "Speed Brakes" of a sort. If you look closely at the edges of the juvenile feathers you can see a brownish ROUGH edge. This causes a slower flow of air over the wing and makes the young falcons fly slower than adults who have molted into adult feathers”. Look closely at pictures of the young falcons and compare them to their parents to see the difference in plumage. SW's adult plumage is on the left - notice the difference in color as well as the structure. Juvenile feathers are on the right and show "Nature's Speed Brakes".
Stay tuned for fledging news.
To watch the falcons live go to: http://www.falconcam-cmnh.org/news.phpOur thanks to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for sponsoring the FalconCams.
For more about falcons, go to: http://raptorsinthecity.org/
Photos are courtesy of Scott Wright, volunteer peregrine nest monitor. They may be used in any non-commercial publication, electronic or print, but please give photo credit.