Observation date: 13 May 2014
We turn to Shell Beach, where all the action is with the young falcons. Two of the three young have fledged leaving a very large female in the eyrie. Females being larger take longer to develop, plus she could have been a day or two younger. When the first two had already lost all of their down, she was still pure white. The parents seemed to care more about the one that hadn’t flown, still coming and going to eyrie to feed her.
While photographing the falcons today, Cleve Nash related a cute story about the tiercel taking off in a hurry around the cliff side point and returning within 30 seconds, pigeon guillemot “in hand.” He deftly plumed it and opened the chest cavity for the two newly fledged youngsters. Cleve had not seen either adult take a pigeon guillemot even though they nest all over the cliff face. Neither of the chicks would take a bite. When the adult male returned he would not touch it either! This could have been a lesson in shopping. I had a similar experience as a young man in 1958 rafting the Peace River in the Northwest Territories, Canada, 180 miles and running out of provisions, someone shot a merganser. It was the foulest, fishy thing ever! No one could eat it.
Happy trails, Bob
Item: Fifty years later, I can still remember the taste and smell…