The falcon fledged sometime during the spring, on the other side of the rocky cliff faces, away from where I could see the nest. This is the third year of chicks, after a ten-year hiatus. Mostly they are born on Catalina or the Channel Islands. Three years ago, when I spotted movement in the tiny brown crack in the cliff, I was stunned by the presence of the magnificent predators and their fuzzy flight-less offspring. A gift to my birding eyes.
Yesterday, they screamed past my house, above my tree, past the plate glass window, an aerial display of squawking, as the young bird, can I say annoyed the parents, by it’s persistent diving to try and convince the older birds, who are trying to teach their young to hunt, to feed it.
The small finches and wrens at my feeder scattered. The predators wing span alone enough to scare the crap out of them. And I mean crap. All over the adjacent chairs, the feeder stand, the brick patio.
The speed at which they fly renders, for the most part, my camera’s ability to focus, useless. But I persist, and for once, was able to catch one of them, wings spread, tail feathers fanned, in flight. Their power and grace a beacon to my own flightless state.