On Monday morning, I was counting shorebirds at a beach in Biddeford when suddenly every bird in sight took flight. Well, nearly every bird. Glancing to my left, I quickly located the cause of the panic. Unbeknownst to me, a Peregrine Falcon had completed a sneak attack and had a Black-bellied Plover pinned to the sand. In mere moments, the plover's life was over.
With my camera handy, I snapped some quick shots of the two (soon to be one) winged ones. When the peregrine made an adjustment, I noticed plastic bands on the bird's left leg.
Reviewing my photos later, I was able to read the plastic markers -- the bands were black and green with white lettering "40" over "U". I sent an email to Charlie Todd of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and received a prompt reply. He told me that the Peregrine Falcon I'd seen was born on a bridge in Maine back in 2009 and had even earned the nickname "Feisty". Charlie wasn't aware of a sighting of Feisty since April 2012 in Westbrook, so he was thrilled to learn that the bird was still around.
I've since learned that Feisty had a rather unusual first few years of life, starting with some fame as the star of a peregrinecam, and later as a survivor of a serious wing injury. Rather than detail his early years here, I encourage you to view this impactful slide show put together by Avian Haven.