NEWS

Young falcon tumbles to Moncton sidewalk

07/04/2012 09:11 EDT | Updated 09/03/2012 05:12 EDT
A young peregrine falcon became a sideshow on Canada Day after it fell from the sky to a downtown Moncton sidewalk.

Earlier this spring, birders were thrilled that a pair of falcons nested on top of Assumption Place, Moncton's tallest office building.

Since then, the community has had some chances to observe the endangered birds and their offspring.

The most recent spotting came on Sunday when it appears a young male falcon was on the losing end of an aerial dogfight with his sister, according to Alain Clavette, a local birder.

Clavette was called to help when the 47-day-old falcon ended up on the sidewalk.

"While they're dogfighting — they're basically fighting up in the sky, sometimes with prey items. But it's a way for them to learn how to hunt. I think she's learning fast and she's knocked her brother out of the sky and he came down tumbling,” he said.

Clavette said birders aren't sure how many young falcons hatched from the four eggs laid in the box high above Assumption Place because they have only seen three of the birds at a time.

But the upside to the bird’s fall, Clavette said, is that locals are learning how to live around wildlife.

"Apparently on Main Street [on] Sunday people were saying, 'Don't touch them. They're nesting on the roof of the building. Somebody's going to come. It's an endangered species,” Clavette said.

“Apparently that was the speech that was being told amongst the people. So people are aware."

The Moncton birder said the falcon could have been in danger if someone mishandled the bird.

“The most dangerous part for him would've been to start being tampered with by people who don't know how to handle him. Just holding a bird like that, if you hold him wrongly, he's going to try to escape at one point, make a move, he can break a wing, he can break a talon if you're not holding it properly.”

Still Clavette wants to step it up and start an online falcon webcam if the birds show up next year.

MORE:cbcNews