Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rest in Peace

We know that this frequently happens, but it doesn't make it any easier to take:

Kodak falcon 'Skye' found dead in Canada Transmitter followed young bird's journey

Greg Livadas
Staff writer

(September 20, 2005) — Skye, a peregrine falcon born atop the Eastman Kodak Co. tower this spring, has been found dead in Canada.

The young bird's travels were being monitored after it was fitted with a solar-powered transmitter before taking flight.

According to the Migration Research Foundation's Web site, which was updating Skye's journeys, the bird was found in Lucknow, Ontario, near Lake Huron, in a cut cornfield near a pond. The Web site suggests that she may have been eating prey near the pond when she was attacked by a fox or coyote.

"An older peregrine falcon would usually carry prey to a safe place before eating, but young birds are more likely to make careless errors, and sometimes pay the ultimate price for them," the Web site noted.

Peregrine falcons have a 50 percent to 75 percent mortality rate in their first year, said June Summers, president of the Genesee Valley Audubon Society.

"When we start these things, we always cross our fingers, and that's as good as it gets," she said.

Despite Skye's short life, she said things were learned from her movements.

"I think it's interesting," Summers said. "She did what we think most adolescent birds will do. She ventured out to find what the world was like."

Skye encountered at least two earlier brushes with danger. During one of her first flights from Kodak, she landed on a nearby smokestack and fell inside it, only to be rescued by bird watchers.

And Skye was reportedly caught in a bird trap with pigeons on the roof of a local hospital until she was freed.

This was the second Kodak-hatched peregrine to be fitted with a transmitter in the past two years. Hafoc, who was born last year, stayed in Rochester most of his life. His signal stopped suddenly in March, and he was found dead off Driving Park Avenue in June, the apparent victim of a vehicle strike.

Summers said another transmitter is available to be used on another young falcon next season, made possible through a grant by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

"We're going to endeavor to persevere," she said.




louie0768 said...

Thats really sad but so much like life. Careful where you tread as you never know what may lurk when you are least expecting it. Going for what one wants isn't always the safest bet.

fitzzer said...

Oh no, this is so sad.

sunnyside46 said...

so must we all....

mutualaide said...

While sad that Skye lost his life...I like the whole idea of tracking the peregrines and learning as they learn!