“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”–Khalil Gibran
I learned today that one of the peregrine falcon chicks that recently fledged from a nest box in downtown Boise has died. Apparently, Madge Ellen (Maggie for short), as she was informally dubbed, hit a high voltage line. It is a sad fact that while peregrines have adapted well to nesting in cities, there are dangers to them there that don’t exist in the wild (although the wild has dangers of its own, of course). According to a citation in this Wikipedia article, the mortality rate for young peregrines is 59 to 70 percent, so something like this is not unexpected, or even unusual. And still, I am sad. I become even more sad when I think about the parents. Do they wonder where she is? Are they mourning her? I know there are many out there that would scold me for anthropomorphizing these amazing creatures. But who am I to judge whether or not they feel emotion?
I know that what I am feeling is real, though. There have been some major stresses in my life in the past few months and watching the baby peregrines grow has been a great source of comfort, delight and amazement to me. I suppose that makes the pain this loss brings somewhat easier to bear. Good bye, Maggie! You were a delight to so many in your short time with us.