And The Quest Stories Keep Coming…

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The birding populace on Nantucket certainly seem to have taken Quest into their hearts. The latest sighting comes from Edie Ray, who had a close encounter with Quest on the 25th of January. She sent along some pictures to go with her engaging story too. You can view the pictures by clicking the pictures and highlighted links below. Edie writes:

Late in the afternoon on [January 25, 2009] I pulled into the parking area at Low Beach in ‘Sconset on the Eastern edge of Nantucket Island, Ma. As I exited my car and began pulling on numerous layers of clothing (it was COLD), I noticed a woman with several dogs walking up the trail from the beach. Just beyond her and seemingly undisturbed by this activity I observed a Peregrine Falcon sitting on a sign on the beach. “Must be Quest”, I thought to myself.

I asked the dog-walker as she hurried past if she had seen the Peregrine and would she like a closer look using my binos. She replied that she had indeed seen the bird and had wondered what “that funny stick was on it’s back”. Aha, Quest for sure…

Now on a quest for Quest I headed to the beach and managed a pic or two of her sitting on the sand. As I watched I could see her looking at a flock of Bufflehead ducks feeding just offshore. All of a sudden she took flight and headed out over the startled ducks. I then lost sight of her over the water.

Turning my attention to gulls I amused myself for about forty minutes counting and admiring the many Iceland and Lesser Black-backed Gulls feeding just North along the beach from Quest’s take off point. As I left the gulls and began to head back along the beach to the path I once again saw Quest. She now was sitting on a “shipwreck” looking piece of flotsam and jetsam and looking very photogenic indeed.

Quest Shipwreck 1     Quest Shipwreck 2

Quest Shipwreck 3     Quest Shipwreck 4

Not wanting to disturb her I approached slowly, pausing at times to let her get accustomed to my presence. At one point she lifted her tail and produced a “nice poop”, good evidence of her success in hunting I think! With her “consent” and a telephoto lens I was then able to get a number of nice shots of her basking in the late afternoon sun.

Leaving Quest I headed up the path to my car. While greeting some arriving birders in the parking lot one of them (Vern Laux) yelled “Peregrines!” I turned just in time to grab my camera and get a pic or two of Quest embarking on an aerial dogfight with a smaller Peregrine right over the beach. Even at a distance we could her vocalizing!

After watching this amazing display until both birds were out of sight I headed for home having had a most memorable encounter with a true master of flight. All in all an afternoon I won’t soon forget!

We’re so grateful to Edie and all of Quest’s fans on Nantucket for keeping us informed about her, and especially for sending along all of the terrific pictures! Quest looks great, and she sure seems to be having a good time on her island winter home.

-Jess

23 Responses to “And The Quest Stories Keep Coming…”

  1. Maureen in MA says:

    Great update! Yes – thank you to all of Quest’s friends on Nantucket for sharing their stories and pictures with us!!

  2. ei says:

    What a treat to see Quest looking so great! A huge thank you to Edie & all Quest’s Nantucket fans for sharing their stories & photos with us!

    Hmmm…a smaller peregrine flying with her…a passage bird being chased from Quest’s territory? A potential suitor (though she is a bit young to settle down)? I can’t wait for the next chapter in the life of a young Peregrine!

  3. Kim in Italy says:

    Ditto, Ei! :D
    This latest news is great, Jess!

    A smaller peregrine.. a male.. Quest’s young, but I think to remember Mariah&Kaver’s girls can be a bit precocious in finding a boy-friend! LOL!
    We’ll see, a new chapter is coming with the Spring.

    Edie’s adventure is absolutely beautiful and amazing, sure not to forget!
    Thank you to share with us! Thank you all!
    Love she has many friends visiting there and keeping us updated. :D

    Reading this line couldn’t avoid to think of her and us who are so lucky to follow her stories..
    “Rigor of beauty is the quest.” William Carlos Williams

  4. Alison in Austria says:

    Wonderful story and great pictures, thank-you, Edie and Jess, for the chance to read it all.
    “Aerial dogfight” – or play with a potential mate, as in talon tag…
    She is not too young to have found a friend, but, of course, too young to successfully mate and produce offspring (although it has been known to happen).
    If it is play, then the new friend could be another reason, besides the ample food and friendly natives, to stick around through the spring and summer. How nice it would be to have such excellent reports from Nantucket as we have enjoyed from the birders there, all year long!

  5. Kathy V says:

    You are right, Jess, seems as though Quest is having a real good time. I am so glad to hear it. I also would like to thank everyone involved for sending these great and much appreciated updates and phots of quest. Her mom and dad can be proud. It reassures me to know she is doing well.

  6. Birdlover says:

    Great update! Great photos! Thanks to the good folks in Nantucket for providing such an incredible diary of updates!

  7. Carla P. says:

    Quest is so beautiful…ALMOST as beautiful as her Mom! Thanks for the update Jess, ad thank you Edie, for the beautiful pictures of our girl!

  8. Joan McC says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could manage to track more of our babies as they fly off into their own lives? I often wonder where they all are. Would it be too involved (and costly) to do this? Just a thought…..

  9. Melissa in MA says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find this
    update of Quest!!! She seems to be doing
    so well (a true testament to her parents!)
    and is becoming well known…thanks to
    our latest story teller and thanks for the
    great photos!!!

  10. Kathy says:

    Great, great pictures of Quest!! I’m so happy to see her looking so healthy and happy and … she may have a friend!! I’m in Toronto and we had Linn – another of Mariah’s girls fly into town last year and she was only 1 year old or so then I believe and she had come with a beau as well. The CPF reports that she’s stayed the winter with her new beau so we are looking forward to more of Mariah’s offspring up here in Canada hopefully this Spring…so quite possibly it’s not too young for Quest to have found a potential mate!

    Thanks to the kind people in Nantucket for looking out for Quest :)

  11. June Kogut says:

    Thank you Edie…What a pleasant interlude on these lo-o-ong winter days. Yes we have had just about enough of winter’s blast here in Mass. I for one am grateful to KNOW that Quest is not just surviving, but actully thriving and “dating”… if that might be another synonym for “aerial dogfight” in this case. How great if she would settle down here where she already has an intersted audience so we could still follow her adventures.!!

  12. Jess says:

    @Joan McC – Transmitters are expensive – $5000.00 USD or more, and the satellite monitoring is done by a private company which has to be paid for the data that we receive. All of that adds up to a cost of thousands of dollars to track a single Peregrine.

    We would love to track more of our falcons, but resources are always limited. We’re grateful for the assistance we have received from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation that has made it possible for us to keep track of Quest.

  13. THANK YOU EDIE! We count on these updates and love that you are sharing your pcitures with us – - Fort Wayne, IN

  14. Paul says:

    Thank you, Edie, for the great pictures and story, and Jess, for posting them! Quest certainly looks appropriately nautical, perched on a shipwreck.

  15. Margaret says:

    Jess- I just read the cost of a transmitter for the falcons. There are so many fans of Mariah and her offspring, wouldn’t fundraising be an option?
    I know there is the Bricks for Chicks fundraising option, but with this very active “fan club” of Quest and the rest of the brood, donations/contributions for transmitters may be an option. I would love to follow more the falcons, and Quest is surely a success story.

  16. This is so amazing to read and visualising this beautiful young peregrine falcon on her own queste. Thanks to all the people who tell us how she is doing and making pictures. I am so happy she is doing fine.
    It’s thrilling to read she has a friend. It could well be she finds a possible mate so early on in her life. Would be great for her. She sure is a feisty one, a true daughter of her legendary parents.
    Thank you all so much!

    Froona

  17. Alison in Austria says:

    Before we get too excited about Quest maybe having a “boyfriend”, we should consider it may be, as Edie, an experienced birder, took at face value that what she saw was Quest telling off the smaller peregrine, “I’m the female and this is MY winter territory, so just buzz off!”

  18. Kathy V says:

    Right on…Alison

  19. Angela says:

    I was quite happy seeing these pictures of Quest. Im glad shes getting along quite well in her yearly stages of life. I know I speak for everyone who loves watching the birdcam that we can’t wait for spring to come along to see M&K do this all over again as we stand close to the computer watching. I know I miss coming home from school and going to the computer as fast as I can to see whats going on.
    Glad Quest is doing well and can’t wait for everthing to start all over.
    ~Angela~

  20. June Kogut says:

    I’m with you Angela. Cheering on the spring and another chapterof M and K.

  21. Great pictures and a wonderful story! Thank you for this fascinating report!

  22. mark reindel says:

    what’s amazing to me is how Quest has managed to survive with this backpack telemetry mount.It has to cut her speed down considerably.In level flight as well as her stoop.It has been doing her absolutely no favors. I hope there is a plan to remove it from her or a predicted time in which it fall off. Yeah, you people really care.

  23. sandynl says:

    Great story and even greater pics. Hope to hear from Quest soon.