On Friday last week, as I frequently do, I drove by the buildings where Espie hung out during her first year as a juvenile peregrine. She stayed most often on the Siebel Building on the Frontage Rd at Powell from last October 2007 to December 2008 before leaving for the area that would become her nesting place.
So I still swing by checking out the buildings she liked although I know she’s in another area. I’ve seen red shoulders and redtails, but no more peregrines since Espie left.
On Friday 9/16/11 I found a juvenile redtail sitting on one of the light poles in the area so I stopped to watch. I had my camera and got some shots of him catching a large gopher.
He flew to a tree, then moved several times within that tree, trying to find a safe place to eat. He chose a tree directly over a sidewalk and only about 4 feet up over the heads of people who passed by. After moving a few times, he fly to a different tree where he was mobbed by crows. From there he flew again to a tree near the bay–quiet, away from people and crows and a safe place to eat.
I returned the next day and again saw him hunting–this time unsuccessfully.
On 9-20 I stopped by in the morning and watched him catch and eat a mouse, sitting on top of a street sign about 10 feet off the ground. I watched people pass underneath him as he ate and then sat to look for more prey in the nearby scrub. Runners and walkers and people picking up trash all passed directly below him and no one noticed. I do wish he wouldn’t sit so close to the ground next to the sidewalk.
There are trees to sit in, light poles to sit on, the bay with crabs and shorebirds and ground squirrels, pigeons, lots of rodents. He’s in a good place to hunt—except for one thing: at least one of the local businesses has rodent bait boxes all around. I’ll stop by to see if it contains a rodenticide or if it’s a bait and trap system. If he eats a rodent who has eaten a rodenticide, he will die. The building using the bait boxes is one of the places that put anti-bird devices on top of the building to keep Espie from perching there. They didn’t like the ‘whitewash’ that accumulated on the windows. She moved to a different building. I’ll check with the city to see if they have a policy about the use of rodenticides.