With young on the wing, every day for the next month, it will be like a three ring circus with performances every hour or so. Arriving at Morro Rock, a little after 7AM, and before setting up, I immediately hear young vocalizing and soon spotted movement high up on the cornice with my naked eye. They continued for the next few minutes, while I put up a couple spotting scopes, two chairs and assorted paraphernalia which keeps this gig going.
There were some feathers and what seemed to be a carcass between two of the young birds, which neither one was interested in. They must have received a prey item just before I arrived, and that was what all the commotion was about.
For the next four hours, the parents would arrive and the young would race out to greet and see who would get the kill, but the parents would not have anything in their talons. Four times, they did this. Don’t ask me why.
Finally just before noon, the tiercel came in over the bay carrying a small dark long-legged shorebird. By this time the chicks were totally frustrated from false alarms. The second male to fledge did not even fly out, but remained perched on the cornice.
“Flyboy,” being the swift one, intercepted the parent and deftly grabbed the prey in mid-flight. Banking into a 180 degree turn and heading back to the rock, he collided with his very large sister, who was following close in and was determined to eat first. In mid-air the prey was falling free and “Flyboy’s” speed had carried him past the prey and the large sister grabbed it in mid-flight. The confrontation did not end here. After landing they continued to fight over the kill. “Flyboy” never had a chance, but showed a lot of game.
Happy trails, Bob
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