While watching the three MCC chicks jostle around on the ledge a few days ago, I had a thought that the male might try to fledge before the week ended. So, this morning, Friday, when I rounded the corner at Clark and saw only two chicks, I wasn’t overly surprised. I took awhile to study the two chicks on the ledge – one very large, one smaller, but not overly so. This led me to believe that the smallest of the trio, probably the male, was missing.
I walked the nearby streets and alleyways, but didn’t find anything. Hopeful, I went to the top of the garage to get a sky view. It took me all of two seconds to spot him on the roof of the two story annex south of the EPA’s building. He was on his back and his wings were a bit out, so I assumed he was dead.
Somehow, I didn’t know that the little building, which houses a day care center whose courtyard play area I can see from the garage roof, actually belonged to the EPA’s building, so I didn’t immediately call Dan Cozza. Instead, I went to the security guard that man’s the small garage door at the south entrance. We chatted for a time when I found out he was a huge fan of the peregrine family. Finally, he told me to go around to the lobby and ask for access to the roof. It was then that I realized the building’s owner. So, I called Dan and when I didn’t reach him, I called the next person on my list, his co-worker Gerry.
Not to long after, Gerry came down followed by Dan. The building engineer arrived right after and the four of us trooped up to the roof. As we walked, Dan and Gerry both asked if there was any way the falcon chick could be alive, just very wounded.
“Sure, there is a chance of that. But, he’s not moving. He’s laying on his back and the body looks relaxed. I just can’t see how a bird would lay like that if it wasn’t dead. But, there’s a chance,” I said.
As I had suspected, the little male was dead. His body was cold, though not cold enough to make me think he’d died the night before. From the position of the body, it looked as if he’d jumped from the nest ledge sometime in the very early morning, swung around to the north and flown directly into the EPA’s building. From his positioning, I would say there is the highest likelihood that he died on impact and fell dead just as we found him. When I got him to the museum a bit later, Mary strongly agreed with that assessment. So, he did not suffer in the least as his death was quite swift – that is a comfort to us all.
Even though the timing was sad, it was SO nice to see Dan and co. The EPA folks have been a wonderful addition to the list of people I know.