Play or prey?

Observation date: 9 June 2015

June gloom is upon us some days, making observations somewhat difficult during those days. Warm air rising inland draws in the Pacific marine layer into the coastal areas leaving us with heavy overcast skies or fog. For a few days we could only hear the falcon chicks but, when it does clear up, the flying circus begins again.

"The Rock" seen in the marine layer fogginess.

“The Rock” barely visible                               Photo by Heather O’Connor

The young have shown more interest in chasing prey birds like swallows and swifts, although, I have not witnessed one being caught as of yet but, it has probably happened.

A few years ago, Cleve Nash and I saw a young bird just out of the nest on its third day of flying catch a house finch. The young still chase each other around the rock but, have not ventured across the inlet to the sand spit which is normally their next stop. Then it will be over to the estuary, a large tidal area on the southern end of Morro Bay. Birds of every description are found here at different times of the year. When the young falcons are able to make a kill, this place will be their “candy store,” at least until the end of summer. Then the parents will feel it is time to chase them off completely.  “You’re on your own, son.”

Happy trails, Bob

Item: Gordon Robb and I saw a chick do an inside loop within the length of its body, much like a tumble pigeon does. This was first for me.


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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2 Responses to Play or prey?

  1. Dale McVay says:

    Love these posts… Great “storytelling”!

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Thanks for your very kind complement, Dale. Bob does have a knack with the stories he writes. When he started out, I thought he’d gain quite a following. We’re glad that you’re following us! We just posted a new “story.”. Enjoy! ~ Heather

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