Juvenile American White Pelicans and Peregrine Falcons

Thursday mid-day found me in dire need of a day off. Decision was firmed on learning of two juvenile American White Pelicans (rare) at Windermere Basin. When I arrived Friday morning a photographer from North York was present. After introductions, we focused on the pelicans.

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans at Windermere Basin

Juvenile American White Pelicans at Windermere Basin

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Having travelled such a distance, he enquired whether there were any other notable species in the area. I suggested the Peregrine Falcons at the Lift Bridge. “Falcons?” Yup, four! When we arrived at the Lift Bridge a photographer was already ahead of us. He noted the falcons were in hunting mode. After introductions we worked in tandem to maintain sight of and photograph the falcons. Ultimately, all four falcons were accounted for. It was an outstanding morning to watch the world’s fastest birds. This was the first time I actually observed an adult falcon in hunting mode at or near its top speed. Mind blowing!

Stella, a juvenile, begged to be fed for much of the time we were there.

A begging posture

A begging posture

Stella begging

Stella begging

Stella begging again

Stella begging again

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon begging in flight

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon begging in flight

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon begging in flight

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon begging in flight

While the parents try to force the youngsters to fend for themselves, Barry C. said they often caved in near day’s end. In this instance, dad, moved by Stella’s cries, handed her a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Male adult Peregrine Falcon with prey met by juvenile female

Male adult Peregrine Falcon with prey met by juvenile female

Male falcon transfers Yellow-rumped Warbler to juvenile female falcon

Male falcon transfers Yellow-rumped Warbler to juvenile female falcon

Stella begging for more food after consuming warbler

Stella begging for more food after consuming warbler

Dad attempted to hand Lucifer a live bird. Lucifer missed and the bird lived another day.

Adult male Peregrine Falcon with live prey

Adult male Peregrine Falcon with live prey

Juvenile male falcon preparing to take prey from adult male

Juvenile male falcon preparing to take prey from adult male

Lucifer's attempt to accept transfer of live prey

Lucifer’s attempt to accept transfer of live prey

Missed transfer of live prey

Missed transfer of live prey

Lucifer later flew down from the tower in a bid to capture a Blue Jay that had been calling for some time from the sumac immediately behind us. Unfortunately he missed.  On his return to the tower, he landed on a low bar.

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon peering down prior to taking flight

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon peering down prior to taking flight

It was riveting stuff. If you have a window of opportunity one morning, do try visit the falcons. Click here to learn more about the species.

 

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