Chicks rule…

With prey   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Adult with prey                                              Photo by Teddy Llovet

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.

Mid-flight transfer  Photo by Teddy Llovet

Mid-flight transfer                                    Photo by Teddy Llovet

“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.

The fight continues   Photo by Teddy Llovet

The fight continues                                        Photo by Teddy Llovet

Happy trails, Bob

If you like the addition of more photos, tell us. We’ll do our best.


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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3 Responses to Chicks rule…

  1. Linda Wedel says:

    I really enjoy your photograph and this project.I am at the rock nearly everyday but never witness all this drama. Thanks for sharing with us all.I will try to be more observant.

  2. Observations like these take time and concentration. Focus on these falcons needs to be intense, since they all of a sudden can go from times of seeming boredom to these rapid and exciting antics. One never knows when these things will happen. A photographer needs to be aware of the whole sky in addition to the view through the camera. A moment looking away from the rock, and you can miss out. A diverting conversation of a few words can also distract. So as you can guess, observations take time, hours and often days. This is why we are here to assist you in seeing these magnificent birds in all their splendor. ~Bob & Heather

  3. craig nebeker says:

    love it. I was there last summer and thought highly of this kind of observational science. Keep it up!

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