Monday, May 10, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Update on our brave young falcon, raven news

Our resident falcon needs a name! We've come up with the following possibilities:

1. 'Greg' (to honor the great and fearless leader of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) Personally, I favor this.

2. 'Judas' (one Alcatraz regular, speaking to us in a thick Irish accent, convinced us that it would be dramatic and rad to have a peregrine falcon named Judas marauding around a lonely and decommissioned island prison at over 200 miles per hour, chewing the heads off invasive European starlings left and right. We found it hard to argue)

3. 'Tiercel the tiercel' (Yes, it's very literal and one-to-one, but once we all lose our taste for absurdist and meta forms of humor, 'Tiercel the tiercel' will seem cheeky, refreshing and sensible)

4. 'Maganrord' (Well, we did discover the damn thing, but that would be way more self aggrandizing than even we can stand. And yeah, that's saying something)

What do our readers think? Send us your ideas!

The news on our tiercel is just that we still have him, but we're very happy about that. With this guy, no news is very good news. Young male falcons seeking to establish themsselves face a mortality rate not to be envied.

Though I don't have any real news on the little guy, I do have a cool video of him diving on the raven pair and dogfighting with some gulls over the black crowned night heron/snowy egret colonies on the west side of the island. Enjoy.

Our falcon is the fleet little gentleman appearing about three seconds in.

A word to our ravens: don't you guys have two newly hatched chicks? What are both of you doing on the other side of the island anyways? Did those chicks fail? Was our source on them bunk in the first place?

Well, the above video is two weeks old. This afternoon, we saw tree climbers ascending to the ravens' nest on pulleys. I saw a black bag go up the tree as well.

There was a report that raven chicks had already hatched, but the ravens' recent behavior which has included leaving the nest together for extended periods of time, gathering nesting materials instead of food and declining to defend the tree from birds and humans alike, doesn't align itself cleanly with that of a pair caring for hungry and defenseless hatchlings.

What were the climbers doing up there? Oiling a new clutch of raven eggs?

Being a bird detective is hard! We'll report what we find.


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