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Mendocino Headlands Peregrine Falcons

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  • Rick Harris
    Was watching the resident western gull couple today at the Mendocino Headlands when a peregrine falcon war broke out. All the gulls dived for cover and became
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2011
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      Was watching the resident western gull couple today at the Mendocino Headlands when a peregrine falcon war broke out. All the gulls dived for cover and became invisible. I then watched as two peregrines proceeded to go at each other right in front of me. Things happened fast and furious as they dived at each other stooping and dodging at incredible speeds. The one getting stooped on would invert at the last moment and try to grab the antagonist's talons. At one point they actually grappled for a second or two. Much vocalization which was quite loud and "harsh". Sibley's "rehk rehk rehk..." doesn't really do it justice.

      One of the two was definitely the dark morph juvenile I've been watching for a couple of months. A.k.a "Gull Killer" who has claimed Bird Rock as home. I'm wondering though if this wasn't more than just a territorial thing but might have be the way peregrines flirt in the Spring. Wouldn't it be nice if it was a mating dance and there might be some nesting near Bird Rock? I don't know enough about peregrines to say, but if this is the way they court, I wouldn't want to go on that date.

      Rick
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