06-11-2022 Juvies in flight


Things have been a little intense at Peregrine Central the last few days.  The safety of the rookie flyers is the priority and getting to a computer to write a blog is impossible at times, so my apologies for keeping people in suspense.

First the names:  The female was named Victoria by Holly Mills’ second grade class at Lawton Elementary School.  Her band is Black 36 over Blue K.  The class has been following the falcons online and were excited to have DNR biologist Mark Mills talk to them about the Peregrines and ask for a name suggestion. 

The two males were named for pioneers in Kalamazoo’s past.  The younger / smaller male (Band Black C over Blue 75) is Enoch and is named after Enoch Harris. Enoch Harris and his family were the first black settlers in Kalamazoo County and arrived in approximately 1830. They are said to have planted the first apple orchard in the county and Harris was well respected by his neighbors and often asked to mediate disputes. 

The older male (Black C over Blue 76) is Alex.  He is named in honor of Cornelius Allen Alexander, one of Kalamazoo’s most beloved citizens and first black surgeon.  Dr. Alexander’s intellectual pursuits, love of people, and work to improve the human condition were recognized with an honorary doctorate in public service from Western Michigan University.  His interests were many and varied, including drumming with a senior citizen band and chronicling Kalamazoo’s African American history.

These three ambitious birds have been doing their own form of pioneering this week.  If the Peregrines read the instruction manual, they would learn that they fledge between 40 and 45 days of age.  Alex was the first bird to fledge on Wednesday morning June 8 at about the right age.  He had a strong first flight around the 5/3 building, maintaining elevation, and landed on a parapet overlooking East Michigan Avenue.  Then he disappeared from sight as he dropped into the 5 ½ foot deep window well.  He stayed there the rest of the day and we slipped him some food in the late afternoon.  By morning he had gotten himself back to the parapet ledge and has had successful flights since then. 

On Friday June 10, the activity peaked  before many people have even had their first cup of coffee.  The birds often take their first flights early in the day, so this Peregrine watcher tries to be on site at 6 AM.  Little Enoch jumped from the ledge, followed immediately by Alex, who had been on the roof.  Rebecca then took to the air with them.  Not to left out, Victoria also took flight.  Thankfully, there were a number of human early birds that day to try and watch where everyone landed.  Victoria and Alex both ended up on the City Centre roof – not a bad first spot to land.  Enoch’s enthusiasm however outpaced his literary comprehension and flight feathers. At Day 37,  he still has down, and his flight feathers are not quite ready for prime time.  He did not get much altitude and landed on the Skywalk between the parking structure and the City Centre.  He teased us for awhile with his choice walking along a cantilevered surface under the parking ramp overhanging  the loading dock and garbage dumpsters, but eventually made his way back into open air.  It was just a question of time before he ended up on the ground.  He landed briefly on a parked car, then hopped down to the sidewalk on Farmer’s Alley where some helpful observers managed to distract him so he could be picked up.  A good team effort.  Many students enroll in summer camp for their favored activities, like band or soccer.  Enoch is now at Flight Camp at Wildside Rehabilitation and Education Center where he will have a few more days to get his flight feathers fully emerged, practice flying in a flight cage, and be spoiled rotten.  Hopefully we will get some videos and posts from his camp program!  He will be reunited with his family as soon as he is flying well.    


Tags: Kalamazoo Peregrine falcons. Peregrine falcon fledgings