At 27 days old, the chick was banded. We meet Bob Anderson and Amy Ries from the Raptor Resource Project at the Greysolon Plaza building at 10:30am on Tuesday, June 24th. The weather was damp and foggy but it was still ok to band the young falcon. Since there was only one, they made quick work of it. Amy Ries wore a climbing harness and tied into the window washing steps that were placed behind the box. She climbed over the box to retrieve the young falcon. Meanwhile, the adult male falcon was flying over head making a territorial call and the female was starting to make swoops.
The most unique thing about the banding this year was that Bob Anderson decided to catch the female. She is one of the more aggressive females that they work with. They wanted to avoid her swats as well as keep her from being stressed and possibly injuring her feet by continuously hitting the hard helmets that the banders where. Bob was sucessfull with this and caught her almost right away. This female will come and land next to you and stare at you before she flys to make a pass at you. In the time she landed, Bob was able to grab her, get her under control and then place a hood on her and a piece of fabric that restrained her wings and feet around her. This kept her quiet, calmer and the banders safer.
While the female was restrained the banders were able to quickly put two bands on the young falcon. They get a silver band with a 9 digit number on it and a color band that is two colors and has a letter and number sequence on it. The color band makes it easier to identify the bird from farther distances. They decided that the young falcon was a male and was healthy and feisty. His color band is black/red and the number is E/85. He was a strong little falcon and seemed to have some attitude. He made a lot of noise while this was happening and was not submissive to it all. We were joking that you could tell he had some of his mother’s attitude in him.
After everything was done, The feisty falcon was put back in the nest and the mother was released. She flew to a common perch and did not try to swoop at anyone while we left. I would say the banding went quickly and was successful.