River Birds Banding
River Birds banding day! Jason, an enthusiast in the area that has been watching this pair from his office window for a few years, joined us as did two guys from the office above the nest ledge, Charlie and Ryan. Of course the two building engineers, Marty and Andy, were also there to help get us in the building and out on the ledge. Good group!
When we opened the blinds to the window that leads to the ledge, we were surprised to find Autumn Hope plastered up against the window. She had her wings flared and was making a lot of noise. It wasn’t hard to figure out she was letting us know that she was NOT happy to see us and that we’d best step back before she opened up a can of whoop-ass. Even though we are much larger than her, she did present a prickly problem. It’s not fun to get hit by a peregrine, but even moreso, we didn’t want her to hurt herself going after us. We had a quiet team meeting and it was decided that Mary and I would open the window slowly and Matt would reach through and grab Autumn Hope. Thanks to Matt’s incredible reflexes, the plan worked to perfection! Matt held Autumn Hope and Mary and I went out on the ledge to retrieve the four chicks.
The male, who I still hadn’t identified, was flying above us, stooping down and screaming, but he wasn’t coming in very close. Soon, Mary and I were back inside with the chicks. Matt held Autumn Hope out the window and we slowly closed the window to it’s narrowest opening before he let her out of his grasp.
The banding went great! We had two females (one large and one medium) and two males. I had to help out with the banding a bit more than usual, so I didn’t really have time to try to get the male’s bands. After the chicks were banded and Matt and I were heading back out to the ledge to put them back, Jason offered to take my camera and try to get some shots of the male. Unfortunately, he had to shoot through the window glass AND the male stayed pretty far away, so we didn’t get an ID. That said, I am really thankful to Jason for trying! Charlie and Ryan told me that they’d spread the word to their office mates that if the male landed on their window ledge, they were to try to get camera phone shots for us. I have hope we’ll get the bands yet!