It’s yrev very good to see you again, old friend.

It’s yrev very good to see you again, old friend.

Doppelgänger Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks

Kathy Clark, Ben Wurst, and I were walking back to our cars when we suddenly realized we forgot to name the babies.

It was the early summer of 2020, and we had just just banded four healthy Peregrine Falcons at the Causeway Bridge.

Just as we arrived back at our cars, still debating ideas for names for the banded babies, a suspiciously nondescript town car pulled down the gravel road and approached us. It was clearly some kind of law enforcement. Is there anything more conspicuous than an unmarked law enforcement vehicle?

Soon two clean cut and serious looking men appeared and asked us what we were doing. We told them about the Peregrine family on Bonnet Island. Once they heard our story and had noticed Kathy’s clearly-labeled, state issued truck, they relaxed a bit and informed us that a large protest was being planned at the bridge the following week. They weren’t sure what the crowd size would be, but let us know in case we felt we should take some precautions for protecting the Peregrine tower and discouraging trespassing.

We thanked these mysterious men and they drove off. We all noticed they had never identified themselves.

But Ben & I had made clear mental notes about the uncommon insignia we saw embroidered on the driver’s polo shirt. A quick image search online confirmed they were from the FBI!

The experience was unexpected and unusual, and also gave us a great idea for naming the four babies.

We named them for famous, fictional FBI agents from film and television. The three girls were named “Agent Starling” (Silence of The Lambs), “Agent Scully” (The X Files), and “Agent Heart” (Miss Congeniality).

And we named the one boy “Special Agent Dale Cooper” (Twin Peaks).

I’ve actually had several positive interactions with law enforcement while working with Peregrine Falcons. This is probably because Peregrine love large, public structures like bridges and water towers, which forces me to creep suspiciously around them, frequently.

I still remember the warm kindness shown by the Stafford Police Department when they helped control traffic so I could retrieve the remains of “Agent Starling” when she was struck and killed on the bridge not long after her banding and our run in with the FBI.

And just last week I spent a nice evening talking to a local officer while I stood for hours under the Surf City water tower trying to get a band read. Many local officers have peeked through my lens to get a close look at these mysterious birds who leave “presents” (bird heads and bird legs from their meals above) on their squad cars parked below.

The Surf City water tower is a great place to see Peregrine Falcons. In fact, the current matriarch of the Bonnet Island tower, Jo Durt (82/AN) spent almost two years ruling the Surf City tower as she honed her skills and prepared herself to take over the Causeway Bridge. It’s a great place to catch young falcons passing through in the fall while migrating.

But right now is the beginning of nesting season, and I’ve been seeing a Peregrine in adult plumage a little too often at the Surf City tower. Could it be one of our nesting birds who has lost a mate? Could it be a new adult looking to make a home on LBI?

I became determined to see if it was banded.

It took several hours over a few days. It’s still cold enough that a resting falcon will puff out its feathers a bit for insulation, and pull its legs close in to minimize heat loss. So you just have to sit there, staring through a scope or camera, and wait for that one moment it will finally stretch the leg which would have the colored band, then pray it even has a band, and then, if it has one at all, that you can read it.

I’m glad I didn’t give up. After a few horribly dreary, chilling evenings, standing patiently with an aching back trying to out wait an unreasonably patient Peregrine, I came back bright and early for one last try. I don’t think I had been there watching for more than 30 seconds when it stuck it’s leg straight out to show me.

It was Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Special Agent Dale Cooper at his banding under the Causeway Bridge, 2020. Looking angry because we forgot to name him.

Enjoy this quick clip from the other morning when Special Agent Dale Cooper (banded in 2020 as BE/96) finally identified himself in Surf City:

###

To celebrate this joyous development, and while we consider what it all might mean, here are ten great quotes from always warm, always wise Special Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks.

The only way love ever affected death was in making it more painful.

Special agent Dale Cooper

All things considered, being shot is not as bad as I always thought it might be. As long as you can keep the fear from your mind. But I guess you can say that about almost anything in life. Its not so bad as long as you can keep the fear from your mind.

Special agent Dale Cooper

Now, I’d like two eggs, over hard. I know, don’t tell me; it’s hard on the arteries, but old habits die hard — just about as hard as I want those eggs.

Special agent Dale Cooper

Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen.

Special agent Dale Cooper

I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.

Special agent Dale Cooper

I do not know why I shot the bird. At the moment I squeezed the trigger it seemed that the only two things in the world were the crow and myself. And now there is just me.

Special agent Dale Cooper

All I know is that I do not believe in anything anymore and that I must find something to believe in or I will cease to be. 

Special agent Dale Cooper

Doc, when the will is invoked, the recuperative powers of the physical body are simply extraordinary. Just give me a couple of hours to get dressed.

Special agent Dale Cooper

To believe you know where you are headed is not to understand where one is at the moment.

Special agent Dale Cooper

I only have time for coffee.

Special agent Dale Cooper

4 Comments

  1. I’m blessed to have met you briefly and think you’re an outstanding human for highlighting the animals you encounter. You have a gift of colorful narration. Reading anything that lacks mental stimulation puts me to sleep. Once I leave New Jersey, your blog will reignite memories that are priceless to me. Thank you Always,Jera PiperSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s