Hi there – I’ve had a falcon sitting on my office window ledge since 10 this morning and he doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to go anywhere. I found your blog while trying to get information to help me determine if he’s just visiting or is injured. We’re on the 12th floor of [of a building on] W Jackson across from the Sears Tower. I’ve been trying to see the info on his leg band but can’t get much other than I think it’s red and maybe another color and might have B18 on it? I’ll keep looking and let you know. He seems to have some down still on his head and a bit on his back like maybe he molted? I don’t know – but he’s definitely not afraid of people and seems to enjoy us.
Since she’d kindly included her work phone number in the email, I called her to ask some questions about how the fledgling looked. I was quite pleased by her excitement regarding her special visitor and further pleased to hear that her office mates were equally enthralled. On a first flight, a fledgling can hardly ask for better circumstances than that!
I asked Monica a ton of questions and after she’d answered every singled one, felt very confident that the fledgling sounded like he was just fine. I told her to slowly close her shade or curtain if she had one so that movement inside her office wouldn’t spook him off the ledge prematurely and that she should call me in the morning if he was still there.
I was very impressed when Monica called first thing the next morning. She told me Carlos was still there and proceeded to give me a very succinct report of his activity. I assured her that if a fledgling feels safe, it might stay where it lands after its first flight for some time. I asked her if she’d seen any adults in the area and was quite happy to hear that the adults had been by Carlos’ ledge pretty regularly and that the fledgling and his parents were communicating. Monica even took a few pictures of Carlos and sent them to me (see the picture above, posted here with Monica’s permission). Carlos looked perfect in the pictures — bright eyed and healthy.
“Oh, good, so they know where he is! They’ll feed him and the fly by trying to coax him back up into the air. Carlos might be a bit stubborn for awhile, but one of these times he’ll muster up enough courage to follow them.”
“So, I’ll just look over and he’ll be gone one of these time?” she asked.
“If everything goes just as it’s supposed to, that’s exactly what will happen!”
And that is exactly what happened. At about 10am, Monica called to say that Carlos was gone. She sounded excited but a bit sad too. I really understood that. Probably anyone who monitors a nest can relate to the feeling that there’s “something missing” after the year’s young have gone on their merry way. On one hand, you are SO happy they made it through fledging without any disasters. On the other, well, the building ledges just look so empty.
I really enjoyed talking to Monica and hearing the stories of her co-worker’s reactions. Mary and I thought it was only appropriate that the chick be named “Carlos”.
So, welcome to falcon-watching Monica and co-workers! Glad to have you along for the ride!
[An update: It’s one week later now and all four Wacker chicks have fledged. Some of our Sears Tower monitors have reported seeing them fly with Rahn and Joe and also gather on the nesting ledge to rest between flight practice sessions.]