August 4, 2011 by Chris Dunn
About a month ago, a sports writer and I followed a local biologist as he chased down a young fugitive falcon. This was before the heat waves blistered their way across the county, and it was a beautiful evening in rural York County as we watched and listened to Bruce Fortman while he banded the kestrel fledglings he hopes to track.
This is what I call “the wizard picture” — because he really does seem like a wizard.
© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Biologist Bruce Fortman of New Freedom weighs a male kestrel chick in his truck bed before banding the chick's leg on Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Springfield Township. Biologist Bruce Fortman, of New Freedom, has been studying migration patterns and population levels of kestrel falcons since 1998. To that end, he is maintaining 23 nest boxes this year -- 21 of which are in York County and 2 of which are in Maryland -- and banding kestrel chicks' legs to keep track of their movements.
And don’t be fooled by these little birds. They may be cute, and they’re the smallest falcons, but their talons are something you don’t want digging into your skin and muscle.
© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Biologist Bruce Fortman of New Freedom bands the leg of a barely month-old female kestrel fledgling on Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Springfield Township.
Be sure to check out Frank’s article, as well as my video, about Fortman’s efforts to track these birds’ movements.