The young male Peregrine Falcon has indeed taken the journey into flying. No one that we know of was there to watch his first flight but we did not have to rescue him from the street so it was a success to us. It was either the night of Monday, July 7th or the morning of Tuesday, July 8th when he decided to take flight. When we went to look for him on the 8th, he was not in or on top of the nesting box. So it was time to search all the buildings and streets to find the new place where the fledgling was perching.
At this time, both of the parents were around so we thought that the fledgling was close. It was a difficult day to look for the bird because it was raining and this made it hard to hear and see. After about an hour of searching, the fledged falcon was spotted. He was on the Greysolon Plaza building, under a neat decorative sculpture. He seemed like he was in a pretty good spot so I decided to leave and come back later to check on him. When I did that, he had already made it across the street to a perch that was a little higher. Although I had not seen him fly, I was already feeling good about his flying skills. The next day we came to set up for the Peregrine Watch program and watch him for the day.
When we first arrived at the top of a parking ramp, where we look for the birds, we did not see anybody around. Shortly after, we saw the young bird and an adult swoop over our heads and go straight towards the Greysolon Plaza building. We were very suprised to watch the young falcon fly to the top of the building. This was only his second or third day of flying and he was already heading back to the top of one of the tallest buildings in Duluth. Needless to say, this was very promising to see. For the rest of the day, we continued to see him take short flights and land on a few different perches. We also watched the adult female swoop at him to get him to fly. Even though we was doing very well flying, he still was not the best at landing. We watched him try to land on perches, fail, and then come back and try again. It was obvious that he did not have the skills of his parents.
Now, it has been a little over a week of flying and he is continuing to succeed in flying, as well as, get better at his landings. He has started to swoop at his mother and play with her more. We have yet to see him attempt to catch any prey but I am sure this will start soon. A few days we have gone to observe them and cannot find any of the family. The young one is already expanding his flying range and finding new perches. However, just today he decided to hang out on top of the nesting box before flying off to the clock tower. It is hard to know how long we will be able to observe this family easily but I think it may not be much longer because this little one is so good a flying already. Hopefully we will be able to observe some new skill developments this week!