I thought that was interesting enough but I soon heard from Jim Verhagen, a photographer and writer from Long Beach, New Jersey who allowed me to share his story and fantastic photos and video with the rest of you, originally published on his blog Readings from the Northside

Freaky & Hope. Both Found Alive. And Thriving.

Freaky Found! On Fire Island! Last week! Captured on film by the great Long Island wildlife photographer Mike Busch of Great South Bay Images. Image, and knowledge that both Freaky & hope are alive, thanks to Mike Busch.

To quote myself from the Reading Second Chances published last July:
Freaky has not been seen for a few days. As with most fledgling Falcons, the only way we’ll know for sure if she survived is if someone sights her somewhere, someday. My hopes are not high. She wasn’t a great flier, nor hunter, and generally did not seem ready to live on her own. She had been relying on the adults for food, but has not been seen with them recently. Perhaps she died of a broken heart when she lost her new foster sister Bonnie. Yet she had a second chance, and those are precious in this life; especially for a Peregrine Falcon. Regardless of the outcome, she was blessed. She is one of the lucky ones.



Now, let’s skip over how wrong I was about Freaky and focus instead on how much I nailed it. I was so right. It all turned out to all be true. The only way we would know for sure is if someone sights her somewhereSomeday.

As it turns out, that someone is Mike Busch of Great South Bay Images, and it turns out that somewhere was Fire Island. And that someday was last week.

And yes, I was also right that Freaky is truly one of the lucky ones. Way to go, me.

For new Readers and those of you with poor short-term memories, you can read the Reading from last July, Second Chances, for the full backstory (click here to read it and look at pretty pictures). And for those of you whose attention spans are as compromised as your long-term memories (blame the Internet), I’ll give you the TLDR because this one is important:

Last summer two fully-flighted but inexperienced Peregrine Falcons had been rehabilitated due to injuries. It was too late to release them back to where they were born, so they were experimentally released at the BOIS Tower on Long Beach Island. The hope was that LBI’s local falcons might take them in, or at least tolerate them, since the local pair had a youngster named “Blue Bonnet” who was the same age as the two fosters.

It was a success; at least in the sense that Jo Durt & Bridgeboy of the BOIS Tower didn’t immediately murder them.

Photos below by Jim Verhagen

arriving from rehab in box


bonnie and freaky


dropped in water to get them to relax and not fly off