UPDATE: The parents returned to the tree as the arborist was transferring the nestlings. They circled the tree screaming. The arborist quickly climbed down and the family was reunited. A neighbour will be monitoring the nest for a couple days to ensure the babies are healthy and rebonding with their parents.
Two puffy grey Merlin nestlings fell out of their nest last Friday morning and by afternoon, they had been returned to their Langford tree.
As the arborist Nathan Bengey, of Kanakas Total Gardens, slipped on his harness preparing the climb the tree, Kari Marks, Wild ARC manager, filled with enthusiasm drawing notice to a high-pitched repeated chips nearby.
“That’s the parents,” she said as she opened the box with the two fluffy falcons in prompting them to chirp back by placing her hand near them.
“There is a third one up here in half a slumped nest,” called down Bengey from 10-metres up the tree.
Bengey hoisted up the new nest and secured it to the tree with bungee cords and then hoisted up the two fallen chicks and placed them in the nest and transferred the one from the old half nest.
Chris Galbraith, a wildlife assistant, created a new nest for the little falcons using a laundry basket, cedar bought, fabric and feathers.
“They are opportunistic nesters,” Marks explained of the Merlins speculating the parents may have taken over an abandoned nest to being with.
Staff at Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre were notified of the birds at 9 a.m. and the birds were dropped off at the SPCA location at 11:30 a.m. After a check up and being deemed healthy and uninjured from the fall. Wild ARC staff and a Saanich arborist teamed up to return the birds back to Wentwich Road.
The grey nestlings were already on their second down and it’s estimated they are about two weeks old.
A fourth bird was found dead in a ditch that neighbourhood kids pointed out the Wild ARC staff upon arrival.
Did you know?
Already this year Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre is Metchosin has cared for more than 1,000 animals. Last year at the end of the summer the centre had helped 2,500 animals.