Observation date: 10 June 2014
A steady progression in learning flying skills is taking place on the south side of Morro Rock. All three chicks are flying very well, now that the big young north side female has caught up in her flying skills.
Yes, I did say three young on the south side.
If you remember the south side pair only fledged a single chick, and the north side had two. The north side juvies had been visiting the south side and have not yet returned home.
The two adults on the south feed all the young, their own and the two adopted from the north.
I don’t know what happened on the north side to either of the two adults to send the chicks to the south, but I did see the same thing happen six year ago in reverse when the south side female lost her mate of six years and this new tiercel showed up when she had young in the eyrie. The day they fledged, the new male hit them very hard. The two young crying and limping to the north side and never returned to the south side and their mother. The north side pair fed and reared three of their own and two from the south side and one more from some other eyrie, six in all !
I have to dig into the mystery further to see what might have happened on the north side. I did see the north side male trying to herd his young female back to the north, but the south side adult female ran him off. He was last seen half way to Los Osos via the sand spit flying at full song.
Watching the adult female early this morning, I noticed she had an injured right eye. She kept closing it and when it was open she would continually squint. I don’t know if it could have been a fight with another falcon or hit by prey she was trying to capture in flight. Who knows?
Happy trails, Bob
To photograph the injured eye of the adult female is difficult because she perches with the injured eye towards the rock.