fruitvale bridge falcon drama
An interesting follow-up to my photos from June 2nd: it now seems likely that the falcon behavior that I ultimately concluded was “the adults playing and frolicking together in the warm late day sun, ” was in fact more aligned with my initial instinct of a third falcon invading their territory.
According to my falcon news sources, the female Haya is missing and may have disappeared right around the beginning of June. A new female has been spotted at the nest, but the male and the juveniles are no longer hanging around there and have been spotted hunting further East in Oakland. Interestingly, a female falcon with an injured wing was admitted to Lindsay Wildlife Hospital on June 1st, having been picked up in an area that Haya was know to frequent. It seems plausible that on that Thursday I was seeing the initial take-over of the nest by the new female. Attempts at ID of the injured female at the hospital are pending recovery from wing surgery, and prognosis is unknown.
Sunday evening we had a raptor extravaganza driving out to Lake Sonoma which culminated with seeing two bald eagles fly directly overhead right at sunset. On the way to the lake we saw several white-tailed kites, lots of kestrels, and one mystery raptor. Once at the lake we climbed up to the South Lookout and watched the sunset and a few vultures heading for their roosts. Then for some reason I turned around to the Southeast and suddenly a silhouetted form alighted above the tree line and started traveling in our direction. It was flying directly towards us, and in the dim light I could see it was large and didn’t quite seem like a turkey vulture. As it passed overhead, we realized it was a mature bald eagle. And following not too far behind was what appeared to be a newly fledged juvenile! None of my photos turned out very well in the low light, but it was quite an experience. Quite a treat and a great way to end a rainy weekend.