Releasing Sean and Millennium
If you will recall, the male chick at the prison fledged before his three sisters (6/12/06) and we lost track of him. Apparently, he grounded a couple of days after and Chicago Animal Control picked him up. A man who works for animal control knew a wildlife rehabber and took him to that location. They contacted Mary on the 23rd and she arranged to go out, pick him up and transfer him to the rehab center closer to her house.
Mary gave me the honor of naming him, and since my husband, Sean, had worked so tirelessly to help track the last female when she grounded, I decided on “Sean”. Sean (the falcon) seemed to be in excellent health and was put into a large flight with the Wacker male named Millennium. Both boys did spectacularly and after a week or so, began killing their own food. Although they were ready for release, Mary chose to wait, as the weather had gone from pretty warm to damned steamy.
At the end of July, the weatherman promised a stretch of tolerably milder weather, so Mary decided the time had come. This morning, we picked the boys up at rehab and took them to a large field near Lockport. I held the camera as Mary took the carrier to the middle of the field and opened the door.
Millennium burst from the carrier and went straight for a nearby tree. We waited. And waited. Just as Mary began considering walking back out to the carrier, Sean burst out of the door. He took one look around and then leaped into the air. He circled over us once and was gone, flying to the east. He looked beautiful – strong and healthy. Millennium took off a few minutes after, heading west.
Mary and I stood watching for a time, until both boys flew completely out of sight. So, good luck, Sean and Millennium!