The fledgling Red-tail that was playing in the traffic on Burnside last Tuesday was set free this afternoon. He was returned to the nest ledge around 430 pm. Both mom and dad were in the vicinity but I was not able to locate his sibling. He has two bands on his legs. On his left leg is a silver band which can only be read when the bird is in hand. On his right leg is an orange band that can be read from a distance. His official band number is K2. He appears to be on good health. Upon release he walked around for short while before leaping to the railing and calling to his parents. Both parents made several sweeps of the area as I was leaving. Mom did give me a good knock on the head while I was on her ledge. The head is fine but she is now the proud owner of an Audubon cap. She is a good mom!
I took the opportunity to check out the nest and remove the infamous plastic bag. Yes it is finally gone! I have to say that it was still in pretty amazing shape given how much use it has received over the past 12 weeks. It has been repeatedly buried and dug up, carried about, used as nesting mateiral and hunted by the nestlings. This stuff lasts forever...Ban the Bag! There was also a good deal of other garbage in the nest including what looked like a part of a mop, strips of rubber, string and twine.
The following are some pictures from todays adventures:
Mom in Flight
Mom Flying in Front of US Bank Tower
Just After Release!
Calling to Mom
The Infamous Plastic Bag: Finally Gone for Good!