Fledge Watch Update – Day 1
The juvenile successfully took his first flight on this very hot day in downtown Richmond! The pen door was opened remotely at 9:50 am this morning, but the chick did not exit the pen for another 33 minutes, at which time, he briefly explored the space and then settled into a nap. He woke up at 11:37 am and shortly thereafter jumped up onto the building ledge and vigorously flapped his wings. At 11:40 am he took his flight accompanied by the adult male who flew with him.
Unfortunately, moments later the juvenile attempted to land on the side of the Williams Mullen building (located directly across the street from the nesting site at Riverfront Plaza), but without an actual ledge to land on, he knocked into the windows of the building and fell towards the parking garage below. He did land on the top level of the garage briefly, but then he dove down inside of it. DGIF staff embarked on a thorough search of the parking garage, inside and out in attempt to locate the juvenile, should it need assistance. In the midst of the search, around 12:00 pm, another DGIF staff member spotted the juvenile flying west towards the Federal Reserve. Twelve minutes later the juvenile was observed flying further west towards the MeadWestvaco building. The juvenile was next seen in the air at 12:22 pm, flying northeast towards the Dominion Building (One James River Plaza) and then back southwest towards the Crowne Plaza Hotel. He then remained out of sight for the next few hours, during which time DGIF staff and volunteers tracked the whereabouts of the parents while trying to locate the juvenile.
The juvenile was finally spotted again at 5:25 pm, atop the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where he presumably had been resting out of sight for the last few hours. He was observed to be alert, preening, and flapping his wings, all of which are positive signs that he was in good health. More good news was observed at 7:09 pm; the adult male stopped by the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and fed the juvenile.
Fledge Watch 2015 will continue tomorrow morning. DGIF staff and volunteers will again strategically locate themselves throughout downtown Richmond to keep an eye on the juvenile during its second day on the wing.