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A new yard bird?

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  • Mike Roper
    Hi All, About 3:45pm today I saw a dark falcon harassing a flock of pigeons as I was standing in the parking lot of Terrace Heights Elementary without
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 26, 2006
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      Hi All,

      About 3:45pm today I saw a dark falcon harassing a flock of pigeons as I was
      standing in the parking lot of Terrace Heights Elementary without
      binoculars. They were above Rosa Hill Drive where it crosses the Rosa Canal.
      Too large for a Merlin, too dark for a Prairie Falcon and it appeared too
      slow and clumsy for a Peregrine, but I didn't know what else it could be. It
      would fly along slightly below the pigeons making what appeared to be clumsy
      half hearted attacks. This just didn't fit my image of the world's fastest
      bird.



      In the past I've witnessed Peregrines making fantastic stoops and flashy
      maneuvers at incredible speeds. Near their nest cliffs I've seen them
      effortlessly ride the air currants like high speed lifts to the tops of
      towering cliffs. This bird just didn't fit my image. After a few minutes of
      harassing the pigeons it appeared to give up and drifted off. Only a few
      seconds later I noticed that the falcon, although further off was about
      150ft higher than the pigeons and starting what appeared to be a slow
      shallow stoop. The flight really accelerated but went behind a bunch of
      trees and I thought this would be another one of those frustratingly
      unidentified birds. Like an answer to a birders prayer the falcon reappeared
      from behind the trees about five seconds later heading directly toward me
      with a pigeon dangling from its talons. It continued until it was about
      100ft away and turned heading north. At 100ft it was clearly an immature
      female Peregrine.



      Rethinking what I had just seen, it struck me that this young Peregrine was
      actually attempting to drive the pigeons up and away from any refuge on the
      ground in order to make a clear effective stoop. When she had accomplished
      this she drifted off in a non threatening manner all the time gaining
      altitude and position to strike. What had appeared to be a slow stoop was
      actually much faster since it was coming directly toward me.

      She fooled me and the pigeons, not bad for a kid 2 months out of the nest!



      Since I saw this one block from my home and it would have been visible from
      my home, would it be considered appropriate to add it to my yard bird
      list???????



      Mike Roper

      205 S 41st St

      Terrace Heights



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Andy Stepniewski
      That s one exciting Peregrine hunt! Thanks for taking the time to share this... Andy Stepniewski Wapato WA steppie@nwinfo.net ... From: Mike Roper
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 26, 2006
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        That's one exciting Peregrine hunt!

        Thanks for taking the time to share this...

        Andy Stepniewski
        Wapato WA
        steppie@...

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Mike Roper" <raptornut@...>
        To: <BirdYak@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2006 12:43 AM
        Subject: [BirdYak] A new yard bird?


        > Hi All,
        >
        > About 3:45pm today I saw a dark falcon harassing a flock of pigeons as I
        > was
        > standing in the parking lot of Terrace Heights Elementary without
        > binoculars. They were above Rosa Hill Drive where it crosses the Rosa
        > Canal.
        > Too large for a Merlin, too dark for a Prairie Falcon and it appeared too
        > slow and clumsy for a Peregrine, but I didn't know what else it could be.
        > It
        > would fly along slightly below the pigeons making what appeared to be
        > clumsy
        > half hearted attacks. This just didn't fit my image of the world's fastest
        > bird.
        >
        >
        >
        > In the past I've witnessed Peregrines making fantastic stoops and flashy
        > maneuvers at incredible speeds. Near their nest cliffs I've seen them
        > effortlessly ride the air currants like high speed lifts to the tops of
        > towering cliffs. This bird just didn't fit my image. After a few minutes
        > of
        > harassing the pigeons it appeared to give up and drifted off. Only a few
        > seconds later I noticed that the falcon, although further off was about
        > 150ft higher than the pigeons and starting what appeared to be a slow
        > shallow stoop. The flight really accelerated but went behind a bunch of
        > trees and I thought this would be another one of those frustratingly
        > unidentified birds. Like an answer to a birders prayer the falcon
        > reappeared
        > from behind the trees about five seconds later heading directly toward me
        > with a pigeon dangling from its talons. It continued until it was about
        > 100ft away and turned heading north. At 100ft it was clearly an immature
        > female Peregrine.
        >
        >
        >
        > Rethinking what I had just seen, it struck me that this young Peregrine
        > was
        > actually attempting to drive the pigeons up and away from any refuge on
        > the
        > ground in order to make a clear effective stoop. When she had accomplished
        > this she drifted off in a non threatening manner all the time gaining
        > altitude and position to strike. What had appeared to be a slow stoop was
        > actually much faster since it was coming directly toward me.
        >
        > She fooled me and the pigeons, not bad for a kid 2 months out of the nest!
        >
        >
        >
        > Since I saw this one block from my home and it would have been visible
        > from
        > my home, would it be considered appropriate to add it to my yard bird
        > list???????
        >
        >
        >
        > Mike Roper
        >
        > 205 S 41st St
        >
        > Terrace Heights
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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