No more than a couple of months old, a pint-sized raptor was fished out by a well-meaning passerby Friday, the bird — which was later found out to be "Rachel," a young peregrine falcon that was born and reared on the PG&E building — was eventually surrendered over to the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD).
It's been, quite literally, a wild past week or so in the Bay Area. A large black bear was found up a tree in Marin County — one of only three bears to be seen in the county since 2003; a two-year-old mountain lion was found roaming around Bernal Heights before eventually being tranquilized and released elsewhere; another dead whale washed up in the region, this time at Pacifica State Beach. And Friday, a baby falcon was rescued from Bay Area waters by a good samaritan.
Here is Rachel after being rescued, Thanks so much to all involved 🙏❤️ https://t.co/RvwDJy6IXo— Falcon Watch & Chat (Alison) (@Falconwatch_) May 23, 2021
"Last night #SFFDFS35 got an unexpected visitor," the department tweeted Saturday. "This 'months old' baby Falcon was rescued by a Good Samaritan out of the bay water and delivered to us."
Named "Rachel," the young peregrine falcon was, in fact, one of the widely popular birds atop the PG&E building people have been watching mature on a webcam channel. The young falcon had fledged earlier in the week but was seen at a nearby building not too far from her nest. Rachel's brothers, Cade and Andy, had also fledged from the nest over the past few days, though Andy was seen still frequenting the nest after flying around nearby structures.
PG&E Falcons update: Yesterday, Rachel had fledged, she was on nearby buildings, but later on it was reported that she was rescued by the Fire dept from water at Embarcadero, under the bay bridge. She was taken to ‘Wildcare’ for a check up & was then returned to the nest. pic.twitter.com/3743QSgmVZ— Falcon Watch & Chat (Alison) (@Falconwatch_) May 23, 2021
Rachel's last fledging, however, was far less successful — she ended up in the water underneath the Bay Bridge sometime Friday. But luckily, she was rescued by said good samaritan and was later given a "clean bill of health" from the animal rescue agency she was taken to before being released back to her nesting site.
"We just heard from Bay Area Raptor Rescue the Falcon has a clean bill of health and will be released to its nesting area," continues the tweet from SFFD.
It's worth mentioning that should you come across a wild animal in distress, it's best to avoid intervening when possible. To report wildlife in distress, call the San Francisco Animal Care & Control dispatch number at (415) 554-9400; animal control officers are available between 6 a.m and 12 a.m., seven days a week.
The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as "the peregrine," is the world's fastest bird, capable of diving through the sky to capture prey at 240mph. And unlike other birds of prey, like California condors, these birds have proven incredibly adaptable to human activity and have managed to carve out survivable lives, smackdab in the middle of concrete jungles throughout the country.
Image: Courtesy of Twitter/@SFFDPIO