Diamond’s misjudged early morning landing

Diamond arrives in the middle of the night after thunderstorms and soaking wet.  Unfortunately, she misjudges her arrival, landing on the upper ledge and flipping upside-down, being unable to free herself for several seconds.   She arrrives a bit later to dry off.

 

 

 

The reason for this is that many birds, especially raptors, have a perching reflex – where the toes lock onto a perch. If they flip upside down, it is difficult for them to relax their tendons to release them. The falcons often misjudge their landings at night, but I’ve never seen one latch on to the upper ledge before.

If you are interested in learning more about this locking mechanism, there is a short, interesting article with diagrams here:   https://www.raptorresource.org/2021/01/22/racheting-raptor-toes-an-upside-down-eagle-at-great-spirit-bluff/

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