The Museum Female Identified!
I decided to take my scope with the digiscoping rig and new tripod with me to work. The museum pair was hanging out on the northern niche again, so I set up below them. When I got my scope up, I turned it towards the peregrine sitting on the roof as it was bathed in light. Before I even focused in, I could see a flash of green on her leg and got excited. She stood with her left side to me and about one minute after I started watching her, she held her left leg out. Her bands were achingly clear – black 73 / green D.
I silently thanked her as she turned the band to a slightly better angle before reaching up to preen her head feathers. What a GOOD girl!! I only hope (p) Herc and (p) Max are that cooperative this year!
I decided I should try for some shots to verify the bands, so I got my digiscoping rig and Nikon coolpix out and started putting everything together. After some struggle – it isn’t the easiest thing to assemble – I had it more or less on there and started snapping shots. I even managed to catch two shots as the museum male flew up and landed on top of the female to copulate.
After review, I have to sadly report that most of my shots came out a bit blurry. It seems this digiscoping thing might require some practice too. I was sort of expecting that. However, since you don’t get copulation shots often, I have them on the Flickr site. Bird Porn. Yep, I guess that’s part of my job.
I went to Mary with all my news and we looked the bands up on the database. The museum female is now officially Helen, a wild peregrine born in 2004 at the Busch Agricultural Complex in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her mother’s name is “Cookie”, which I find funny for some reason. Somehow it makes me picture a mother peregrine wearing garish lipstick and a loud polyester pantsuit while standing in a 1970’s vintage kitchen smoking a cigarette.
But then, maybe I’m anthropomorphizing just a bit there. A tad. A touch. Maybe.