Above the rest…

Above the rest...

Photo by Cleve Nash

This is the third in a series of tales about the “famous and not-so-famous birds of Morro Rock.
Before I get into the story of our third famous bird, I would like to give our readers an update on the injured falcon chick found June 26, 2012. The young bird is doing well. She has been moved to a larger 30 foot flight cage where she is being conditioned to fly. With full time care by Jeri Roberts, she will be released in the next week or so. I hope to have a video of this.
Every few years, we have a clutch of young falcons with one bird in it that shines head and heels above the others. This bird was hatched on the north side of the rock in a cast of three falcons. He was a small male, distinctively colored with a pale bleached blond hairdo. Some one called him the “Surfer” and the name stuck. He was very precocious and much of a loner. He didn’t seem to indulge in nestling games. You might say he didn’t play well with others. He was farther ahead of the others in every respect, very agile and coordinated. As they got older and ready to fledge, the other two would flap to strengthen their muscles, but the “Surfer” instead flew straight off the ledge and across the bay to the big power plant and landed on the roof. We were all astonished and amazed. They don’t do this. They fly 50 feet and crash in a bush. For the next couple of days, they might go 200 yards and get stuck on a steep slope for two hours. But not the “Surfer.” On his third day of flying, he tried to grab a swallow over the north parking lot. The other two young falcons could only watch and wish.
By fall when it is time for the adults to chase the young off, the “Surfer” was already gone. I missed him. He was special.
Happy trails, Bob


About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.

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