Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bruce, Chatty and Lookout


Bruce the Peregrine is doing great. Even though we cannot track him via radio, we are still getting some visual info. Today, Dale and I, along with Tish Gailmard from the Chattanooga Nature Center went to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee complex and met with Carl Cressler of AB Security. Carl had already seen Bruce this morning and the guard at the gate had reported that he had seen the falcon flying overhead as well. Carl has been invaluable as far as keeping tabs on Bruce and has been extra helpful in getting us up to the roof. We rode the elevator to the fifth floor and took the stairs to the roof. Carl opened the access door to the roof and it felt like someone had opened the door to a pizza oven (it was probably 110 degrees on the roof). Bruce wasn't on his usual security camera perch. We wandered out on the roof and I scanned everywhere on all of the possible perches. No Bruce. Dale and Tish had not seen Bruce in the liberated state and I was thinking, "It figures he wouldn't be around!" I had brought a quail to feed him and tossed it high enough that if Bruce were around, he'd see the food. No Bruce. I tossed it again, even higher this time. Still no Bruce. I decided to put the quail near the security camera when suddenly Bruce appeared! He was flying from the north and did a close fly by. He didn't recognize Dale or Tish and decided to be a little more cautious. He did give us a flying show as he circled several times, catching small thermals and then flying out of them. He flew directly over downtown Chattanooga and thermalled with a number of Cliff Swallows and Chimney Swifts. He looked very confident in his flying, very much like a Peregrine should. We left our rooftop perch, thanked Carl for his help and made it back to the parking lot. We took Tish back to her vehicle and I happened to look up at the security camera perch. There was Bruce! He was there eating the quail I had left for him. I'll skip him tomorrow (as far as food), but I will check to see if he is still there. We will skip him to try to get him a little hungry in hopes he will start trying to catch his on feathered food (this also works if you have a 30 year old "child" living in your basement; stop bringing food to him and he'll have to emerge to find his own food. By the way, don't stock the fridge with food).

Meanwhile, Chatty and Lookout have been spotted around the hack box at Rock City. We scanned for Chatty's radio signal and found it below the bluff where he was released. Two men that are doing some structural work on Mr. Chapin's house (and were present at yesterday's release) said that they saw both falcons together as they were soaring around the bluff. One even landed on a chimney on Mr. Chapin's residence. Dale had received a satellite readout that indicated that Lookout was nearby and the two men's observation correlated with that information. We left a couple of quail on their release box, just in case they wanted to drop by for a meal. By the way, there was a great article, written by Pam Sohn, in our local Chattanooga Times Free Press paper and website http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jul/12/freedom-soar/?local Check it out for video as well. We will keep you posted! Thanks!

John (and Dale)

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