Fledge Watch Update – Day 2
Fledge Watch resumed this morning at 8:00 am on yet another extremely hot day in downtown Richmond. Everything went smoothly for the juvenile during the monitoring; he had some very nice long flights and eventually some nice landings were also observed.
The juvenile falcon was first spotted at 8:15 am, still on the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. He was perched atop a ventilation shaft and was flapping his wings. DGIF staff observed his first flight of the day at 9:41 am, which was just a brief circle above the hotel. A few minutes later this was followed by another circle of the hotel, which was further out from the perimeter and with some soaring. He continued to soar and circle a couple more times before landing on the roof of the Dominion building (One James River Plaza). This particular landing did not look great, but his landings improved throughout the morning. A couple additional short circling flights were observed, including one to a nearby building (McGuire Woods).
At 10:01 am the juvenile and an adult took to the air. The juvenile was following the adult and vocalizing a lot. Eventually, after drafting behind the adult for quite a while, the juvenile landed on the ledge of the Riverfront Plaza Building (the same building where the nest box is located) with a nice, clean landing. The adult he had been flying with also landed on this building with a prey item, which was plucked and then left on top of the building’s BB&T sign. The juvenile flew up from the ledge to the sign and ate the prey item.
The juvenile’s most impressive flight of the day began at 10:46 am when he took off from the BB&T sign and caught an updraft; he circled and soared for several minutes gaining more and more altitude. After about 10 minutes, he had gained so much altitude that he appeared to be just a pinpoint in the sky. Eventually, the juvenile descended and landed on top of the Federal Reserve building. After resting there for about six minutes, the juvenile flew again, this time accompanied by the adult male. They flew for a few minutes and then landed on the south side of the SunTrust Building. This was the last flight observed during today’s monitoring, which wrapped up at noon and marked the conclusion of Fledge Watch 2015.
DGIF staff were pleased with the juvenile’s strong flights and improved landings as well as the attentiveness of the parents. The young falcon will remain in the downtown Richmond area for the next several weeks, so it is possible that we may receive additional reports on his progress and will post any items of interest.
A big thank you to this year’s 8 dedicated Fledge Watch volunteers who stuck it out in the extreme heat! Your time and spotting skills were a huge help and are much appreciated. We hope to see you next year!