First Flight

Peregrine falcon on the wing

Saturday morning, May 28, was sunny and warm. The young peregrine falcon was perched atop its nest box over 500 feet above the ground as we watched an osprey circling overhead. The osprey disappeared and reappeared into and out of the plume of wind-blown steam from the nearby cooling tower at the Montour electric plant. As it circled, the osprey moved closer to the nest box. That triggered a reaction from the young peregrine. In the blink of an eye it was gone. At first we thought it had taken shelter in the nest box. Despite our best efforts to peer into the shadows of the interior of the box, we saw nothing moving there.  Once we starting looking around, we discovered an adult peregrine perched higher up looking down below it. Whatever had caught its attention was  out of our line of sight. Moving to the west side of the plant complex gave us a view below the tower and nest box. There was the young fledgling perched near the scrubber with the adult watching from high above. The fledgling took to the air with strong wingbeats as we watched and was immediately set upon by two smaller birds. After a short chase, the birds broke off their attach and the fledgling disappeared from sight. Now comes the honing of flight and hunting skills until it can survive on its own.

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