How is Grinnell?

It was a great discussion by Lynn and Sean from Cal Falcons and Cheryl from Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on Grinnell. I taped it to post here but the file size is too large. Lynn and Sean archived the discussion. Here is the link:

Grinnell is the male Peregrine Falcon whose mate is Annie. Their territory for the past five years has been the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in San Francisco. Their scrape box is in the most iconic building on campus, The Campanile.

On 29 October, Grinnell was observed to be in a territorial fight with two intruder falcons. He was found 1.5 miles away from the Campanile grounded. The eight year old falcon was taken into care. Grinnell had minor surgery related to an injury on his wing. He also had a significant injury to one of his legs, his top beak end was also broken and there were other injuries related to the fight. Grinnell is on medication twice a day that includes anti-inflammatories, anti-parasites, as well as antibiotics. It is not clear if Grinnell could have survived without human interference since he was grounded. He was given fluids and was very hungry and ate on his own instead of being fed by clinic staff. This means that they put food in his hospital cage and he eats when he wants. They checked the sutures in his wing and the wound has not completely healed. They will continue to check that and Grinnell’s parasite load. All birds have parasites at various levels and of various kinds. They do not know for certain but Grinnell will be in care for another week to a month. He has to be fully healed and capable of hunting and flying before he will be released. His beak tip is keratin like our fingernails and will grow back. It is not like a broken bone. At this time they do not know where they will release Grinnell. The experts note that if Grinnell wants to return to his territory even if they released him 100 miles away with the falcon’s keen navigation systems he would find home. So there will be continuing discussions about an appropriate location.

One of the most asked questions was: what about Annie? First, Annie and Grinnell have been together for 5 years raising chicks. Grinnell is an excellent falcon dad partaking in many activities raising the chicks – more than most falcon males who simply do the hunting. This is a big plus for Grinnell. Annie does not know where Grinnell is. He is just gone. Not there. Annie is currently maintaining her territory on top of the Campanile. Annie has been scraping in the scrape box, displaying breeding behaviours towards the ‘new guy’. The falcon experts say that Annie will not likely enter into a fight with the interloper. She does not want to get injured and not be able to breed next year. If Grinnell returns to fight the interloper, she will likely stay out of it to avoid injury. Someone asked if Annie would know Grinnell if he returned. The answer was ‘certainly yes’. Annie would know Grinnell by a sound of his voice miles away. But right now, Annie just knows that Grinnell is not there. She does not know where he is.

Annie in the scrape box. 5 November 2021.

I hope you will listen to the discussion. The questions and the responses were quite informative.

There has been an update on the Joburg Spotted Owls – the foster owlet put in the box with a mother and her two. It has been returned to the box once and has jumped out again. It is now in the garden of the owners. There is a carport and the parents will continue to feed it. They are opting not to return it to the nest box because it will only jump out again.

The weather was grand. 10 degrees C. I visited two of our parks in search of Wood Ducks and was not disappointed. At one there were 25 Mallards, 2 Wood Ducks, and about 400 Canada Geese. At the other there were 6 Wood Ducks, a few Mallards, and about 50 Canada Geese. I will post images tomorrow.

Take care everyone. I hope your weekend is starting off well. See you soon.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann. ! I am
    Watching it now. The photos and info are Superb!
    Take care!

    1. Oh, I hope you enjoyed it. That couple are ‘falcon crazy’ – just lovely people. I hope Grinnell is home sooner than later and is feeling so good that he gets those interlopers out of town! Fingers crossed. Take care.

  2. Salliane says:

    Ahhhh weather sounds great for Fall…that translates to 50F
    I bet the number of birds will lessen as we move toward winter.

    Thanks for the updates 🙂

    1. You are so welcome for the updates. Grinnell is eating on his own but the wing injury has not healed so they are monitoring. He will be released in 1-4 weeks. He might have an issue with his territory. I guess everyone will cross that bridge when it comes. The weather is lovely but it dipped down to 0 the other night and many of the birds have left. I found only 5 Wood Ducks today. I hope you are well. Lovely to hear from you.

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