Posted by request...
Karl Linderholm, Mitchell Renteria and I, along with Janet Stander from Raptor Recovery Nebraska, spent some time at the state Capitol building yesterday, assisting with the processing of an eyas peregrine. The little tiercel was fitted with an official USGS band as well as a marker band (98/M, if I remember correctly) and then had some blood drawn before being sprayed for ectoparasites.
[Yours truly with eyas and the gorgeous Lauren Dinan from the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission staff. Photo by Gwyneth Roberts/Lincoln Journal Star.]
Three eggs were produced this year, and at least two hatched, but 98/M is the only one to have survived to three weeks. (Karl happened to be watching the webcam early one morning after a violent storm and saw the adult falcon carrying the body of a dead eyas away from the nestbox, an evident victim of exposure despite the falcon's best efforts.) As I told JoAnne Young from the Lincoln Journal Star [link], being an "only child" in a peregrine eyrie has both advantages and disadvantages: no competition for food resources, but on the other hand no siblings with whom to develop advanced flying skills; I sometimes—but fortunately not yesterday—call this the "Top Gun" effect. With first-year mortality rates in the 65-75% range, it's just about impossible to say which will be more important, but my suspicion is that the loss of his sibling(s) before fledging is likely to weigh in on the negative side for this little guy.
[A Top Gun graduate: the adult tiercel. Photo by Game & Parks biologist Joel Jorgensen.]