Back in September I received a note from the Bird Banding Lab that one of our banded birds had been re-sighted. Initially, I thought it was probably a Piping Plover or a Least Tern since those species are mostly what we band. When I looked at the band number it was obviously a larger species. I immediately suspected Peregrine Falcon. A quick band number look-up revealed it was the band we used on Orozco, the Peregrine Falcon hatched at the Capitol this past year. Unfortunately, the banding lab couldn’t tell me how or where Orozco was re-sighted since we had not provided our banding data for the year. We typically make sure all of our banding data is in order and submit it after our busy field seasons – something we were very close to doing. I only knew Orozco was re-sighted. Since I also know re-sightings of juvenile Peregrine Falcons in which band numbers can be read are rare, I feared the worst. I was worried someone happened to find a dead bird and that was the reason they were able to read the bands and why we received the report.
We quickly submitted our banding data. Then, we waited for the banding lab to send us the information on the re-sighting. It took a few days, but we got the details and learned Orozco was re-sighted at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue on 17 September by Marie Griffin and Steve Baumann with USDA-Wildlife Services. Wildlife Services works at airports to avoid collisions between birds and planes and you can find additional information about Marie, Steve and their work at Offutt AFB HERE. Once I had that information I quickly sent an email to Marie. When I heard back from her, it was good news. Orozco was observed alive on a fence at Offutt AFB. He was also quite cooperative and allowed a relatively close approach, allowing his auxiliary marker (P/45) to be read by Marie. She also captured a couple photos, which are below.
This bit of information indicates Orozco has ventured out into the world and now is on his own and appears to be doing well. Let’s hope that continues.
Many thanks to Marie Griffin, Steve Baumann and USDA-Wildlife Services for sighting and reporting Orozco and for allowing use of the photos used in this blog post.