What a day!
I went to watch the chicks at 7am this morning and heard the two of them far before I saw them – noisy chicks! I watched for about an hour and a half, long enough to see many wing exercises, a few scuffles and a couple of feedings.
At about 9:30am, I made my way to the museum to do some wrap up of some of the work I’d been doing for the bird division. Actually, I’m not sure I mentioned this anywhere! Awhile ago, I got word from my boss that my money was finally running out. This wasn’t a big shock to me as I understand that’s how museum money is – there today, gone tomorrow. It sort of goes with the territory.
My boss, John, worked TIRELESSLY to help me find a new position. He’s just the greatest guy and a stellar boss and mentor. Anyway, about two weeks ago, he asked me to go talk to a researcher named Carl, who works with both the Mammal and Insect Divisions on a special Bat Fly collection. So, I did.
Carl’s Collections Assistant, Mary Beth, had just gotten an offer from a small museum in Vermont to come on as Head of Collections. Well, of course, she jumped at the chance. Carl couldn’t have been happier for her, but was suddenly in dire need of a Collections Assistant. We chatted about the job and Carl said he’d get back to me very soon.
I will admit, by this week, two weeks later, I’d sort of figured they’d gone with someone with far more insect knowledge. So, it was a bit of a shock when I got to my office and had email from Carl asking if I’d come see him, ASAP.
Long story short (too late), he offered me the position.
“When do I start?” I asked, in semi-shock.
“Well, what are you doing in an hour?”
So, there ya go. That, by the by, is also how the museum works. Sometimes things take forever to happen, sometimes from one minute to the next, your life has changed. Anyway, I am very excited to work on a species I know very little about and in a brand new division. In fact, I’m considering starting to collect divisions, like trading cards. By retirement, I may have collected time in enough departments that I can wander the world as an “Overall Naturalist – Everything and Nothing is my Specialty. Information on Rocks on special now through Thursday.”
I will, of course, stay with the peregrine program and also do my best to help Mary with the remainder of this season, though I’m in training for the new position, so my schedule has gotten a bit tricky. As well, I will continue doing some bird stuff on the side, mostly following up on the projects that we hadn’t quite finished when my money ran out. So! It promises to be a busy, busy couple of weeks for me coming up — all good!
So, back to the chicks. I got a call in the late afternoon from the garage folks. Unfortunately, I was in training and so I couldn’t respond to the call for an hour. Apparently, one of the chicks landed on Federal Street, between Van Buren and Jackson, which is right outside the garage. It was in the street, so the guys flushed it up so that it wouldn’t get run over. It landed on a ledge on the first floor of the garage and stayed for a bit before flying off to the south. Tyrone tells me that it flew really well and didn’t have any problems during the time it was still in sight.
After work, I walked the streets and alleys over there, just to check things out and didn’t see a thing. I also chatted with folks that work in the parking lots and such around there and they hadn’t seen anything either, though some of them saw the chick initially fledge. Lastly, I called animal control to check if they had anything. They didn’t.
So, good luck Chick #1! I hope you are sitting on a rooftop somewhere close by, being fed by your attentive parents!