Yesterday, Melissa and I were hunched over the computer once again, watching the Falcon Cam. The male among the three baby peregrines was better described as a gangling adolescent after the growth spurt. He was milling around on a ledge at San Jose’s City Hall, flapping his now-impressive wings (baby fuzz all gone) .
“Fly, child, fly,” we wanted to scream at the screen.
Then I had to go to work. Late in the shift I grabbed a story to edit for the local section — the keyword was “fledge” and I knew what that had to mean: our little guy had fledged, with a little help from one of his sisters, who nudged him off the ledge. The sisters are expected to test their wings in the next couple days. The timing of his launch, the story said, was less than a half-hour after we’d been watching the cam. Missed it by that much.
I spent the rest of my shift with a certain proud-papa glow, co-workers no doubt wondering what drugs I’d ingested in the men’s room to make me so happy in the midst of working in an industry in full-meltdown mode.
There’s nothing quite like watching a pair of peregrine falcon parents tend their babies along the translation from helpless fuzzy little chicks that can’t walk for the first few weeks into majestic, broad-winged predators that are a pigeon’s worst nightmare. You see nature videos, but they’re always polished, edited and cleaned up for human consumption. A live nest feed shows nature happening — messy, bumpy, scary, gory, funny. Netflix will never carry a title that good.