Yesterday was the big day to see the third peregrine falcon that hatched on May 6 this year at 101 Hudson in Jersey City. I had the extreme honor of being present during the chick check when the nestlings were eight days old. One had deformed legs and there was no way it could compete for food with its aggressive siblings. The difficult decision to remove the chick was made by Kathy Clark, NJ Fish and Wildlife biologist. We had little hope the bird would survive. My buddy, Mike, and I named our little guy Legs.
Legs eventually made his remarkable journey to Mr. Phung Luu, Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections, LLC in Dover, Delaware. Legs has yet to ‘earn’ his new name, but he definitely is a star and he knows it. On his second public show he appeared extremely at ease with the huge crowds at the Delaware Nature Society’s Harvest Moon Festival.
“I wish I had a falcon.”
Legs preening as we arrived at the festival. He is totally at ease.
Jackie adores Legs and Legs tells Jackie he adores her, too.
Legs is the geatest looking young falcon in the world.
He just let the crowd admire him.
He continued to preen and remain quite comfortable for most of the show.
You can see his legs look absolutely perfect.
Legs has not flown yet, but he is certainly quite ready.
This is as far as he got on his flirst flight. He got right back up on his perch. He will fly soon.
There is one little thing that he has not quite accepted.
Phung Luu is committed to positive reinforcement and does not press the issue.
Positive reinforcement does work if one is patient. Legs is still deciding how to best manipulate the humans who serve him.
Legs is learning about the food reward for working. For most of his life humans have just delivered the food. Now he has to earn his living.
Legs has house mates now.
Hopefully they will show him proper raptor behaviors.
All of the birds owned by Phung Luu are not releasable into the wild.
And all the birds are fantastic ambassadors.
But sometimes they get to take little vacations in the wild. This turkey vulture put on his own show for the folks on the other side of Cloverdale Farm.