The peregrine falcons born on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge continue to make news. This time, falcon chick 73-U, born in May of this year, was caught near the Portland International Airport just last month. Birds of prey, they grow up fast.
The young falcon was caught by PDX’s birdstrike avoidance team using a goshawk trap and moved to nearby Sauvie Island. The team routinely moves birds away from the airport to reduce conflicts with airplanes.
When Washington State biologists first met 73-U in May, she was just three weeks old. Biologists annually inspect the nesting box high up on the bridge supports to tag the young chicks in hopes of tracking them in the future. Here’s what 73-U looked like back in May:
At this point in their development, falcon chicks have adult sized talons but are still too young to fly — the perfect time for tagging (check out this close-up of 73-U’s talons, yikes). Here is how it’s done — this photo shows 73-U’s mother watching over the previous year’s brood (May 2011):
In other bird news, migratory Snowy Owls are making their way back to the region again this year. One visited Capitol Hill last night to feed on some seagull: