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.”