Exciting news! This Saturday, Harlie successfully fledged and took her first flight.
As if the drama of egg vs ledge wasn’t significant enough, nothing quite compares to the heart pounding terror of watching baby Harlequin lift off and fly for the very first time, which officially changes her status from hatchling to fledgling. We’re becoming SO proficient in bird talk here at the Romance Mothership!
By nightfall, the newly air born Harlie rested on the upper ledge of the adjacent building quite obviously exhausted after having made seven short flights from building to building in the corridors of air space around the Harlequin offices, with only a few mainly minor mishaps. She first took flight on Saturday July 9th and has been increasing in speed and skill since.
Mama and Papa Quest and Kendal were like falcon training wheels, guiding her progress as she soared, albeit wobbly at first from ledge to ledge and eventually to the roof of her nesting site. They flew alongside in almost military precision, directly above and below her! What is particularly remarkable is the parenting skill displayed by these newbie parents, as in at least one instance their quick intervention deterred a potentially lethal outcome from Harley’s inadvertent topple from the 6th floor ledge. Which more than a few startled birders witnessed live and via our webcam feed!
As Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation says, “She is doing very well indeed, and obviously benefiting from not having any siblings to compete with for her parent’s attention. Quest and Kendal are outstanding parents and are staying tight to Baby Harlequin.”
And I have to get used to the lack of bird dives and swooping in my peripheral vision when at my desk as Harlie, Quest and Kendal move on. Can’t WAIT until next spring when we hope this happens all over again!