Photo by Cleve Nash
For some time now my friend and associate, Cleve Nash, and I have been making small snide remarks, not in public of course about the south side tiercel and how much of a wuss he has been over the last couple of years, aka “Caspar Milquetoast.” Compared to the north side tiercel who is fierce and formidable and will attack almost anything, either by himself or with his mate. He is absolutely fearless. For the most part, these falcon pairs stay on their respective sides of the rock. However, in the past, I have seen the north side male for one reason or another make a high speed “hero run” across the south face of Morro Rock to attract the south side tiercel into giving chase. He might make a weak effort to engage with a lot of squealing, then break off and hide in the nest site, still making a lot of noise, trying to get the female to take up the chase, which she will sometimes do.
The south side pair of falcons has been spending a lot of time around the face of Morro Rock where they are not visible to us part of the time. Since my last posting, titled “Touch and go…” dated December 5, 2012, there has been a drastic change in behavior of the south side tiercel. As of yet, we have not seen another attempt at copulation, but it does not mean they have not been fooling around where we can’t see them. I think it to be the latter.
Eddie Murphy said “That stuff will make you crazy!”
For the last few days, Mr. Milquetoast thinks he is Rambo chasing Red-tail Hawks and making a grab at them instead of breaking off and going to hide some place.
Cleve was shooting this sequence with his 500mm Canon and said “ Bob, it’s the female.” And I said “It’s the tiercel, he’s small.” Cleve had been looking through the eye piece and didn’t get the same perspective. He said to me “It couldn’t be the tiercel, he is too chicken s!#!%* to do that” Then he brought up the photo on the display of the camera and enlarged it and said “You’re right, Bob. It is the male!”
The coup de grâce came high over the rock. My eye caught a glimpse of two falcons at high speed going over the top and down the ocean front face of the rock where I lost sight for a second, then coming straight at me at very high speed were two small male falcons about 30 feet off the deck. Passing in front of you at that speed will get your heart started, but as the lead falcon banked around the north side, the other that had given chase banked to the right in a victory roll and returned to the “diving board” nest site.
Happy trails, Bob
Tuesday, December 25, 2012