Sad news out of Melbourne

I have had the most wonderful notes from so many of you worrying about the little peregrine falcon that hatched at 367 Collins Street. We were all so delighted with the prospect of four fledges and watching the parents work 24/7 to keep them all fed and protected. You have watched, stayed awake and worried wondering what can be done for the baby, if anything.

The researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Project issued this statement today:

As people will have noticed the remaining nestling (a male) is struggling. I don’t know exactly what is going on. From my experience it is most likely a heavy *Trichomoniasis *infection. This is not uncommon in urban and industrial settings where introduced prey species make up a higher proportion of the diet. It is now too late to intervene and approach the ledge as this is guaranteed to lead to this nestling jumping off of the ledge to a certain gravity induced fate. In fact the disease has probably already progressed too far. To approach it once it is too weak and malnourished to make that jump will also be too late to actually prevent it succumbing to this disease. I have consulted with people whose experience with this species and disease I respect and they have reconfirmed the merits of this approach which has been adopted at 367 Collins Street for some years now. As it becomes increasingly obvious that the disease is progressing I will be recommending Mirvac to then switch off the live feed. Little will be gained by watching its last hours or days. It is worthwhile recalling that there is almost by necessity a relatively high mortality within top order predators in their first one to two years of life. One consequence of this is that the environment does not become over-populated/crowded by predators which will be constantly attacking each other and may also then locally wipe out one or more prey species. With this in mind it is worth recalling that approximately 66% of juvenile Peregrine Falcons die in their first or second year. In Victoria 13% of the mortalities recorded of juvenile Peregrine Falcons are due to *Trichomoniasis *infection. This is based from 146 known mortalities. On another note I would like to firstly thank Leigh for creating this site, inviting me to participate and hosting a really enjoyable and hopefully informative Q&A session again this year. To volunteer moderators and all those who contributed observation data on incubation and the feeding/diet studies you guys rock! You have maintained order in a social media environment prone to dischord. Finally, I thank everybody who has joined this group to create a positive online community working within the rules and watched this wonder of nature play out. Looking forward to a new Mirvac web site and camera format next year. Take care and be kind to others.

Victor Hurley, 12 November 2021

Here are those beautiful peregrine falcons at a happier time:

Take care everyone. I will bring you up to date on the other nests later today. This is a very sad day for Melbourne. We wish the parents and the three other extremely strong fledglings the very, very best.

13 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks for the update Mary Ann. It is very sad indeed. 😢😭
    My Grandmother always said where there is Life there is Hope. So I understand that they think or know the little falcon won’t make it. But I have and always will
    Believe in helping. I pray that the little one makes it. God does answer prayers.
    I’m praying for this baby 🙏❤️
    Have a good day
    Linda

    1. Thank you for your note, Linda. Please do send your beautiful prayers to this wee one. I reminded myself of Big Red’s K2 this year. She had an injury to her mouth and it had gotten worse. One chick fledged but the other was on the nest. Cornell took the chance, believing neither would bolt, and took K2 down hoping to intervene. It was too late but I note that the other chick did not fly off the nest prematurely. I wonder if that might happen in Melbourne if they choose intervention. It is a bit of a sad grey day.

    2. Linda, I want to compliment on your kindness and you caring. The world can use much more love and tenderness.

  2. Akane says:

    Thanks for the update.

    I live in Japan, so I was always watching it because of the close time difference.
    Very sad 😭.
    I’ll be praying for you too🙏.

    1. Dear Akane, You are so very welcome. I wish I could say it was my pleasure but that is, of course, not the case with such sad news. This is such a beautiful falcon family. The parents are so very dedicated. I hope that you will watch little Yurruga (she isn’t so little!) in the scrape box in Orange. Diamond and Xavier are incredible parents as well. Years ago I got to see some falcons up in Hokkaido when I was traveling there. They are quite amazing and so very, very beautiful. Thank you so much for your kindness. I wish you well.

      1. Akane says:

        Thank you very much for your kind reply.
        I always look forward to your newsletters.
        Of course, I will keep an eye out for Yulga and also for the Osprey in Port Lincoln.

        I even voted for Yulga when deciding on a name.
        I’m glad Diamond’s foot is starting to heal.

        Hokkaido is a wonderful place. I’m glad to hear you say that about Japan.

      2. Dear Akane, I did not see this comment earlier. I am so sorry.
        You are always welcome and I am glad to hear you enjoy the newsletters. I sit by a computer and never know unless someone tells me! You might remember some of the other names that were possibilities. I could not imagine wanting to name a falcon ‘rain’ or ‘windy’ – sunshine brings life and hope and makes us feel so joyful. It is your flag. And, of course, it is connected with the lovely story of Amaterasu being lured out of the cave to bring light and spring. I always love that story.
        It is nice to see Diamond healing. She looked like she was in such pain but she has to deal with it herself. I am so glad she is better.
        Akane, I was very fortunate to have been able to travel to your beautiful country. When I was more physically fit, I used to take a bus from Kyoto and go ‘over the mountains’ to a mountain where you walked up many, many temples to the very top. On the way I saw a gorgeous farmer’s field and many people had their painting easels there and they were drawing. I must go back and find the name. At other times I came during the fall to go to the pottery sales at Yamashima. I hope that there is at least one more trip in me!

  3. Akane says:

    I’m sorry. I spelled it wrong.
    Yurruga. My apologies 😢.

    1. Dear Akane, No need to be sorry or to worry. I have spelled the little bird’s name wrong several times. Sometimes I just stare wanting to put an ‘a’ where a ‘u’ meeds to go! And thank you, I am so glad that you are enjoying the newsletters! Please do watch that other little falcon. She is a darling! take care. All the very best to you!

      1. Akane says:

        It’s a little difficult to spell, so I’ll be careful, thank you. I’m learning a lot from your newsletter.
        I would like to look at many other nests. Thank you very much.
        I’m glad the little guy wasn’t alone when the camera finally caught him 😢.
        I hope you will let me comment again.
        Have a wonderful day!

      2. Oh, Akane. I am so happy. Thank you. Please comment any time you like and also you can tell me about other nests because I do not know them all. There are so many. I hope your day will be good too. I am just watching all of the garden birds. They are going in where they can. The snow is beginning to blow. I always worry about them. Take care and thank you for joining us.

  4. Akane says:

    Hello.
    I never thought I would hear the name of Amaterasu!
    I am very happy.
    It seems that the Emperor is a descendant of Amaterasu.

    Kyoto is an ancient and fantastic place, truly amazing. I am envious of your Kyoto experience! And I hope you will come back to Japan to visit us!

    I saw pictures of snow.
    I pray that there will be no disaster caused by the snow. Please pray for peace for all living things.

    It’s been a pleasure chatting with you! Thank you so much 😊.

    1. Oh, Akane, I am so glad that you are happy. Yes, I do understand that connection. I have not been to Ise but my son has. There are so many beautiful places in Japan and some very busy – Osaka and Tokyo. I prefer the countryside because I live in a very small city compared to those in Japan but it is still noisy. I love the quiet, the smell of the trees, and the fallen leaves in the fall. Our snow was very wet and heavy. It has changed so much. It used to be so dry and you could just sweep but not it is like shaved ice falling from the sky. I worry that people will get out when they should wait. My birds are eating berries off the vines and I cleared the feeders for them. ——- Yes, we have to continually pray for peace and caring for everything. I hope that your day is joyful. I have so much enjoyed talking with you, too, Akane.

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