I was pleased to see the interest shown by the plant employees. Many of them joined us for the banding, and then followed us out into the blistering heat to watch what she did when released. She is a high energy bird, and wanted to fly off as soon as John Wicker (RROKI co-director) removed her from the travel crate.
Kate explained the banding process. This Falcon's information will be entered in a database, accessible should she be caught in the future.
John held the bird firmly while Kate applied loose bands on both legs....
...but she let us know in no uncertain terms what she thought about it.
John took her around for all the plant personnel to see up close. Believe me, I was not the only person clicking away in that room! This will be "their" falcon, and everyone wanted to take a good look.
In order to keep her calm while she was transferred to the box, Kate put a falconer's hood on her....
...but she wiggled out of it in no time at all, then turned to glare up and bite Kate's Visitor's tag to express her displeasure.
When you look at some of the Falcon cams, you find nesting boxes installed on the roof of a tall building. This time, the nest box is installed in the side of a tall building, to re-produce the cliff ambiance, safe from both above and below, accessible only by wing. Of course, there is a door inside the building to the box, so future banders don't have to ride up in a crane to band chicks born there. Luckily, we did not have to climb up several stories with Kate, and moved around to the other side for a better view.
Here is the building from where we stood...not close at all, but at least we found a spot in some shade! Look at the top of the blue building, on the right side and you can see a small something sticking out of the wall. That is the entrance to the box, with perches for convenience. We waited, and sweated, and tried to keep focused on that small box, waay up there. Be ready, we said. When that door opens, she'll shoot out of there so fast, there will only be one chance for a photo.
Well, the door opened, and she came out to sit on the perch, looking around to see what's going on. Anything above? She seemed very interested in the sky, but did not see the Kestrel flying on the other side of the same building.
Here it comes! She's going to fly! Click on the photo to enlarge it, and you can see the bands on her legs. But after a good stretch, she remembered that Kate left a nice fat quail in the box, and decided to go back in for lunch. We stood there for a while, and finally decided it was time for our lunch too. While we were a little disappointed not to see her flying, it was a good sign that she felt comfortable enough to eat. I'm sure she took an aerial tour of the plant after a little after lunch nap! Good Luck to you, Pe Fa 113.