Denise Goldberg's blog

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Watching big birds

Denise was going to take a different road into the park this morning, but then I reminded her that we needed to drive by the trail head for the Precipice Trail. You're right - we would never hike that trail because it's an almost vertical trail, and Denise likes to be able to see land (not air!) under her feet.

The trail is closed because perigrine falcons are nesting there. In the morning the park rangers set up two spotting scopes, and I really wanted to see the birds. Denise wanted to see them too - she just needed me to remind her to stop.

Denise looked through the scope pointed at the chicks, and she said she just saw rock. I looked next, and oh! the chicks stretched their wings and I could see them. I traded places with Denise, and she saw the chicks too. They were pretty big and they had real feathers on their wings, well beyond baby fluff.

Then we switched to the other scope. That one was pointed at one of the adults perched high on top of the cliff. Then we looked through the chick's scope again. They had disappeared down into what appeared to be their crevice in the rock, and then - they popped up again.

That wasn't enough though. We heard some cries from the sky, and we saw a peregrine falcon chasing a bald eagle. Amazing! The falcon is a much smaller bird, and they are oh so protective of their young.

Birds, birds, birds!

--- Rover, official bird dog