[Tweeters] Peregrine Falcon Pair with Pigeon - Snoqualmie

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Sun Oct 11 10:38:25 PDT 2009

Hi everyone,

This morning around 8:00 when walking my dogs, I heard a small group of pigeons that had been sitting on our rooftop flush and scatter with a sense of urgency.  I looked back to check it out and immediately saw the reason for their nervousness.  A pair of Peregrine Falcons flew overhead about 100 feet off the deck.  The falcon in the lead was carrying a pigeon in its talons.  Given their height and the timing of the observation, the falcon had clearly caught the bird elsewhere rather than from the group on the roof, but the pigeons were taking no chances.  The two falcons were headed in the direction of Snoqualmie Falls, so may be the resident pair at the falls (or another local pair - there are at least two known breeding pairs in the area and I periodically see Peregrines in the Snoqualmie valley in the fall and winter).  I've seen a pair of adult birds on a snag near our house two or three times over the last six weeks. 

Our yard has been visited several times over the last two months by two large female Cooper's Hawks (one adult and one juvenile - at different times).  The adult in particular appears to be a very accomplished hunter.  I saw her take a pigeon near the yard one day and fly off with it to a nearby wooded ravine.  On two other occasions I found a pile of pigeon feathers in the yard, presumably from the same hawk.  (Yes, I have a slight pigeon problem at our feeders, and so it's nice to have an appropriately-sized accipiter working on managing the pigeon population.)  On another occasion I witnessed a sneak attack on our back yard bird feeders.  The adult Cooper's flew in between our and our neighbor's houses - a narrow approach where she would be out of sight of any back yard birds until the last moment - then rounded the house corner quickly and was immediately on the feeders.  Birds scattered everywhere and perhaps because of the high and confusing number of targets, that hunt proved unsuccessful.  She flew to our neighbor's Mimosa tree to take stock of the situation but decided she didn't like the nosy birder keeping an eye on her and flew off elsewhere. 

John Tubbs

Snoqualmie, WA

johntubbs at comcast.net


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