“Early this afternoon, we received the following update from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game:
“We regret having to bear bad news. The juvenile female hit a window downtown and died this morning.”
Our Fish and Game Department has been doing an incredible job following up on the falcons this year. After rescuing all four of the fledglings and banding them, it is unfortunate that they also had to report on the first mortality.
Young falcons nesting on cliffs outside of cities face mortality form Great Horned Owls, Golden Eagles, as well as from hitting power lines or fences near the eyrie.
Fledging falcons nesting in cities, on the other hand, face mortality primarily from hitting windows, falling down steam vents, fledging from bridges where they nest into the water and drowning, or from hitting cables or wires. On the positive side, cities provide a great prey base for the adults to feed their young.
It is all a gradual learning process and quite unforgiving for young falcons that make mistakes. This is the reason that well over 50% of young Peregrines, and raptors in general, do not survive their first season in the wild. Peregrines that do survive their first year have a mortality rate of only about 12% as sub-adults and adults.”