The Falconer

My husband has decided he wants a new pet.


No, you are not mistaken. That is a Peregrine Falcon.


So what brought this on? We saw an article in the newspaper about these falcons. They live atop a really tall building in a nesting box located on a ledge on the 19th floor of the Brandywine Building in Wilmington, DE.
That thing way at the top in the middle is the nesting box.

Red Girl and CJ are the current residents in the box raising four chicks.
How sweet are these birds? If not for the razor sharp talons and mom and dad
keeping a watchful eye, I'd be snuggling these balls of fluff like nobody's business.
Actually, they are now fledgelings and practicing every day to leave the nesting box. Sadly a fifth fledging took his leap of faith and didn't make it a few days ago. But it looks like the other birds are catching on just fine. In fact we went to an event at the top of a neighboring parking garage in order to catch a glimpse of these birds.

By the time we got there, there was one lone fledging left on the box. We stood around just waiting for him to do something or waiting for mom and dad to come back.

While we waited, Izzy found something to do:
Maybe the fledgling was unsure he should try those wings out...or maybe he was watching all of us.
Either way, I have to say it was somewhat inspirational to finally see him lift his wings and take off through the city. As a parent, it was a little heartbreaking to see him leave his nest. I wonder if Red Girl & CJ feel the same twinge in their hearts that human parents do when their children discover their independence?

While we waited for some of the birds to fly back around we got some background information on falcons from a fellow from the Delmarva Ornithological Society.
Izzy and C had some snacks that were provided by Appleton Catering.
During the lesson and snacks we learned that falcons snatch their dinners right out of the sky. The will cruise around and grab an unsuspecting smaller  bird right out of thin air. Talk about a bad day!
Sometimes unfortunate pedestrian on the sidewalk below will get hit with a body part dropped by a feasting falcon. I laughed at this and thought that surely this could not be a common occurrence.  Then on the way back to the car, we saw this:
Gross x2.
Please note the cigarette butt next to that sad little sparrow carcass...or what's left of it. I guess falcons enjoy an after dinner smoke. Who knew?

Now that you are totally grossed out, here is some more cute.

C cant stop talking about how cool these falcons are and how he'll have one "SOMEDAY!". It took me a while to talk him out of that pet monkey. I hope I can convince him that he does not want to be this guy: