2 April 2022
So many of us love/d Grinnell. I do not know anyone who is not still shocked by his death.
How do you write about a Peregrine Falcon that brought so many so much love, joy, and laughter? Grinnell was a very sweet lad. I have found it difficult to write about him because for many years it was always ‘Grinnell and Annie’ ‘Annie and Grinnell’. In my mind, I was not able to separate the two. They were a constant which, over the past few years, has been very reassuring. And then they weren’t.
Grinnell was last seen at The Campanile at 10:37 on the 31st of March. He was later found dead in the downtown area of San Francisco. It is believed he was chasing a female intruder and went low and got hit by a car.
Grinnell hatched along with another male in a nest near Martinez, California. He was banded in 2013. This makes him 9 years old this year.
Annie and Grinnell were bonded mates for six years. Indeed, it was probably only Grinnell’s injuries on the 29th of October that caused them to be separated for the longest time in their relationship. They appeared at The Campanile in December 2016 making their first nest on a sandbag!!!!!!! Cal Falcons decided that it was better if they fixed them a proper nest in 2017 which evolved into the scrape box that you see on camera in 2018.
Annie and Grinnell raised two to fledge in 2017- Fiat and Lux. Fiat flew out of Mum and Dad’s territory to set up his own while, sadly, Luxe hit a window and died. In 2018, they fledged 3 – Berkelium, Lawrencium, and Californium. All successfully left. Lawrencium, the female has a nest on Alcatraz and has made Grinnell and Annie grandparents. In 2019, there were two fledges – Carson and Cade. In 2020, there were three – Poppy, Sequoia, and Redwood. Poppy was spotted recently in San Jose, California and Sequoia is known to be in Santa Clara, California. Unless a miracle happens, 2021 will be the couple’s final breeding season. It was hugely successful with three males fledging – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek. In total, they fledged 13 juvenile peregrine falcons in 5 seasons. It is not clear how many grandchildren the couple have.
We ached for Annie and the two eggs in the scrape.
It has been a bit like a roller coaster with the plot thickening every day since Grinnell’s death. A male appeared, began courting Annie, and briefly incubating the eggs almost as soon as Cal Falcons announced the death of Grinnell. The news of this tragic drama has spread. It even made it to the Toronto news.
The new male likes to sit on the ledge above the nest box watching over Annie and the eggs. Has she accepted prey from him? I am not certain.
This afternoon, Annie initiated the bonding and the male immediately came to join her at 16:30.
He has a limp. Cal Falcons confirms that this should not impact his hunting. And, in fact, he tried to give Annie some nicely prepared prey last night but she was either full, according to Cal Falcons, or not ready to commit. Has anything changed today?
After the bonding ritual, the young male situates himself on the eggs to incubate them.
He is rather cute and I am quickly warming up to him.
These are gentle gestures of loving kindness — the world could use so much more kindness like this – right now.
There are so many news stories out about Annie and the new male. Here is one with comments by Lynn from Cal Falcons:
I will always treasure the years that I was privileged to watch Annie and Grinnell raise their chicks. No one will replace Grinnell in the hearts of thousands but, for now, I am grateful to this young male who has been hanging around for about a month, that he is stepping up and will help raise the last two chicks ever of Grinnell’s. That makes him a winner in my books.
Thank you for joining me tonight. If you are looking for a blog on Sunday, it will be coming late in the afternoon. I am counting Canada Geese tomorrow at several locations! Continue to send your warm wishes to all of the birds especially those migrating over war zones and those entangled with monofilament line. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to Cal Falcons for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.