May 19 2011
The peregrine banding went well at the Cathedral of Learning this morning. When the chicks were weighed and measured we learned that Dorothy and E2 have one boy and three girls this year. All are in good health.
As expected, Dorothy was upset even before the festivities began. She perched near the nest and refused to budge when WCO Beth Fife came out on the ledge. Beth attempted to net her but Dorothy escaped and flew furiously back and forth. E2 strafed the area as well, performing an amazing precision maneuver, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
Eventually Beth and WCO Doug Dunkerley made it to the nest but Dorothy landed above them and puffed herself up as large as possible to scare Beth while she collected the chicks. Dorothy would have attacked except for the pole Beth used to keep Dorothy at bay.
Here’s what all the squawking was about — one of Dorothy and E2′s cuties, wrapped in a towel to keep him calm while the vet begins the exam.
Meanwhile, Dorothy waited outside. She cocked her head to hear what was happening as Pat Szczepanski took her picture through the window.
The male chick was the first one weighed and banded. He was very calm and quiet as you can see.
Not like his sisters!
Samara Trusso applied the bands to one of the three females.
Doug Dunkerley banded all the rest.
In less than an hour Beth returned the babies to their newly cleaned(!) nest and the Cathedral of Learning peregrine family returned to normal.
In only two weeks they’ll be ready to fly!
(photos 1, 2, 3 and 5 by Pat Szczepanski; photos 4, 6 and 7 by Kate St. John)