WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE BIRDS: Peregrine Falcon rescued, and nest news

This morning, Brian sent that photo, showing a juvenile Peregrine Falcon that seemed to have encountered trouble on the low-bridge bicycle/pedestrian path. Then, tonight, an update from Joel, including more photos:

To all the concerned cyclists and walkers that saw the disoriented juvenile Peregrine on the bridge yesterday, good news, he was picked up today and transferred to PAWS for rehabilitation:

We don’t know for sure if it’s from the same nest, but another reader had recently called our attention to the Urban Raptor Conservancy mentioning briefly in this online update that three peregrines had hatched in a nest on the now-closed high bridge. We asked SDOT for more information, and they reminded us it’s not the first time:

We have a long history of working with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Urban Raptor Conservancy’s Seattle Peregrine Project to support wildlife preservation efforts including protecting peregrine falcon nests on West Seattle High-Rise Bridge and the University Bridge. In the late 1990s, we assisted with the nest box’s placement on the bridge, and the site has produced young most years since 2005. In some years, we have also assisted the Urban Raptor Conservancy to band new falcon chicks in order to learn valuable information about the birds’ movement and migration habits. For example, in 2011 an SDOT bridge inspector discovered four young falcon chicks roosting beneath the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge, which were the offspring of a female peregrine who had travelled from a nest on a crane at the Port of Olympia.

We take extreme care not to disturb the current resident of the nest, who the Urban Raptor Conservancy informs us is a peregrine falcon born in downtown Tacoma. We are in frequent communication with Department of Fish and Wildlife and Urban Raptor Conservancy about the status of the bridge and plan to work closely with both agencies regarding the future of the bridge and nest.

SDOT also told us they and partner agencies have considered installing a streaming camera but not soon, as they “determined that it is too risky to the birds to install during nesting season (and also risky for our engineers, since the falcons are highly likely to attack anyone who comes near the nest). This is a seasonal nest, so we are considering installing a camera later this year after the fledgling season when birds have all learned to fly and left the nest.”

17 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE BIRDS: Peregrine Falcon rescued, and nest news"

  • Marianne June 14, 2020 (9:38 pm)

    Thanks to everyone who helped the little fellow.

  • Keri June 14, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    Thank yo to Joel and all.  Incredible – love all the birds we have here, no idea we had peregrine falcons.  (!!). love the photos! 

  • Tracie June 15, 2020 (7:16 am)

    We live on 34th & Andover and this guy stopped by our backyard on Sunday morning. I’m glad he is safe. 

  • Trileigh June 15, 2020 (8:02 am)

    I am so glad this gorgeous bird was helped! Thanks to all who pitched in.

  • Catey June 15, 2020 (8:31 am)

    It still has baby fuzz in the top of its head!

    A peregrine falcon killed and ate a rat on some decorative driftwood I had in my yard last year. I felt honored.  I love raptors. 

    • Tanea Stephens June 15, 2020 (2:01 pm)

      Raptors need advocates! The West Seattle peregrines are lucky to have so many people watching over them. You are right, Catey, that it is so amazing to see the ecosystem at work. Since you love raptors and the job they do to keep our rodent populations down, you might be interested in volunteering with our just hatched Seattle Chapter of Raptors are the Solution.  We are working to support the research efforts of the Urban Raptor Conservancy. It turns out that raptors (as well as pets and kids) are unknowingly being poisoned by rat bait box anticoagulents, which they ingest when consuming their food (rats and other creatures). Please help us spread the word that rat poison kills more than just rats!

  • Conrad June 15, 2020 (8:51 am)

    About this time last year I saw the same thing: juvenile peregrine falcon a little disoriented, trying to find his wings.  In the short period of time I was watching it/ trying to keep it from getting run over until it was out of harms way I was berated by several cyclists (I was riding too). They didn’t even stop and look!

  • Kris June 15, 2020 (9:02 am)

    Cool!! Awesome pics! And thanks to everyone who helped that little guy! Nice to know atleast someone is getting use out of the WS Bridge these days ;)

  • Kanit June 15, 2020 (12:10 pm)

    This falcon is from the same nest under the bridge.  Young are often clueless and I appreciate everyone who encounters these birds taking great care to keep them safe.  Yesterday we had a group of cyclists watching with concern and care to keep this little one out of harms way. Thanks to those cyclists. 

  • Sunflower June 15, 2020 (2:05 pm)

    Aw, so glad they were rescued, thank you!

  • Gordon June 15, 2020 (2:06 pm)

  • Joan June 15, 2020 (3:39 pm)

    Thank you to all who helped! I was wondering what was happening with the nest box with all the bridge work. I hope it can be moved or continue to be used as the bridge situation evolves. Long live the peregrines!

  • junctioneer June 15, 2020 (6:13 pm)

    The kids are giant raptor fans and were absolutely thrilled to see these pictures and now want to bike the lower bridge to see the nest… but I don’t know if you can see it from below. Can you see the nest box anywhere from the ground?

  • Jaye June 15, 2020 (7:16 pm)

    I love Gordon’s caption about the bridge. And I’m happy that this gorgeous bird is safe. But have there been any recent sightings of the Admiral Turkey?

    • WSB June 15, 2020 (7:49 pm)

      Short answer: No.

  • Patti June 15, 2020 (7:37 pm)

    All of the peregrine youngsters have left the nest. One died on West Marginal Way, yesterday’s kid is at PAWS Wildlife Center, and the third fledged last night or this morning. It is moving about as it learns to fly, and its parents are close by.  If you see a falcon walking around near the road or other dangerous area, gently try to shoo it to turn around. But keep your distance! The parents are very defensive and their talons can hurt you.To report concerns, please contact Urban Raptor Conservancy (info@urbanraptorconservancy.org). Wish her well!

    • rpo June 15, 2020 (11:45 pm)

      Oh no, what happened to the one on W Marginal? Guessing it was hot by a car?

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