[Tweeters] Snoqualmie Peregrine - Damaged Primaries

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Mon Mar 30 14:47:50 PDT 2009

Hi everyone,

I took advantage of a morning without precipitation and walked a few trails in our neighborhood this morning looking for avian signs of spring.  Found a crow's nest in the process of being constructed, a Red-breasted Sapsucker pair in an area with lots of snags, so will be searching there for a nest cavity and lots of birds singing but nothing really unusual.  Then, in the morning's highlight, I looked up and saw the unmistakable form of a large falcon flying toward me.  The binocs showed it to be a Peregrine, motoring along at a pretty good clip, but not carrying any prey.  What made this sighting a bit unusual was that as the bird was flying away from me and filling the whole field of view in the binocs, I could clearly see three or four damaged primaries on the bird's left wing.  The feathers were bent almost in a ninety degree angle upward from the plane of the wing, as if the bird had struck something with the outer feathers of the left wing and almost broken them off.  The bird's ability to fly level (and pretty fast) appeared unaffected, but one would have to assume that those feathers would interfere to some degree with the aerodynamics of a stoop when the bird goes hunting.  The direction the bird was flying in suggested it might well have been one of the Snoqualmie Falls nesting pair, but I haven't been over to check those birds out yet this season. 

John Tubbs

Snoqualmie, WA

johntubbs at comcast.net

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