Friday, July 4, 2014

Special Photos from Volunteer, Rahul.

Sometimes people can really surprise you. This year Bob received a phone call from a high school senior asking if he could attend our volunteer 'training' and help during fledge week. Bob, of course, agreed.

I met Rahul for the first time as he carried Ace to the vestibule to be boxed for re-release on the Beehive. I could tell he was rather excited and I wondered how he became interested in this project but I never found the chance to talk to him.

This past Monday, I was on my lunch hour from work, chatting with June and Bob, under the tree at Falcon Central. I asked Bob about Rahul and 'how did a young man end up hanging out with all of us old folks, watching birds?' Bob said, 'Well, June knows the story better than I do.' Turns out Rahul is an avid birder (as are a lot of our original volunteers, like June) and a member of Great Salt Lake Audubon (GSLA). At just that moment, Rahul walked up the sidewalk to chat with us. When I told him I author this blog, he was excited to share a few photos. I asked about his camera (because the photos were so beautiful) and he told me that his photographs are being featured at the Salt Lake Library in January 2015 and that he has applied to study wildlife conservation at Cornell in Ithaca, New York. Wow. I have more hope for the next generation. Here is a little more in Rahul's own words and a few of his photos. Just amazing.

Rahul and Ace
Hello, my name is Rahul Mukherjee and I am a senior at Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. I am an avid birder, bird photographer, and a bird conservationist. I also lead birding field trips for Great Salt Lake Audubon (GSLA). I got to know about the peregrine falcons last year when I watched the live webcam. I was so enthralled by the falcon (Solo) that I used to watch the webcam all day long until the lights on the streets on South Temple turned off and I couldn’t see the falcon anymore. I found it especially fascinating that these falcons could live in this urban setting. Thus, I decided to join the Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Rescue Team this year so I could get a closer look at these falcons and help them fly. It’s amazing how these falcons can learn to fly so proficiently in such a short amount of time, especially given the fact that this urban setting makes it harder for them to fly. Looking back at my time with the Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Rescue Team, I can surely say that it has been the experience of a lifetime for me and I feel privileged to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of such a great project. 

My passion of birds first developed from my 9th grade biology class when I was assigned a bird project in which I had to take photos and record the vocalizations of 35 different bird species. I fell in love with birding so much that I ended up with about 70 bird species. I've since tried to develop this passion even further and I'm grateful for an organization like GSLA that has really given me the opportunity to do something I love. I'm also grateful for the amazing community of Utah birders. Although we are mostly all strangers to one another, we share a common passion of birds. I sometimes imagine that if activities like birding or music were brought out to all the people in the world, our world would be completely devoid of all its problems because activities like birding and music appeal to the human emotion. Therefore, no matter how a person is, there is no reason why that person wouldn't be affected by these activities. If these activities were made accessible to everyone in the world, this world would be a better place. I hope to continue on with this passion as I progress through college and throughout the rest of my life.

Do yourself a favor. Click on these photos to open them in their larger size.
"The City through a falcon's eye"
Note that you can see the rescue box, security guard, Rahul, JSMB and part of Eagle Gate tower under the awning.

Ace in the tree - Day 1

Hunter on Alta Club ~ I believe this window is leaded glass.. thus the wavy appearance.


Adult female on Church Office Bldg. ledge


Jo Yaffe said...

This is a great story about Rahul! I attended Cornell briefly, am confident Rahul will flourish there, and anticipate hearing wonderful things about him in the future. I hope he'll come back for Hell Weeks sometime over the next few years.

Those photos are incredible, and especially the one of Ace's eye. I would dearly love a print and will talk to Rahul about it when I see him!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Thank you

Anonymous said...

This has been an amazing season for the falcons. Thanks to all who are involved and bring the info to all of us who read this blog. Happy 4th of July!

Anonymous said...

I'm very impressed! What an amazing, talented young man, and I'm happy for him that he has found some passionate interests that will help to shape his life's journey. Best of luck at Cornell, Rahul, and thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this story of Rahul and his passion for birds! He has the heart of a giant and will be successful in his life's journey. Thank you for sharing his photos and story on your blog! You are all remarkable for all that you continue to do to make certain that our falcons continue to thrive in this Urban city. <3Anotheronda

Jo Yaffe said...

For Rahul: Here's the M. C. Escher drawing I mentioned yesterday: