[Tweeters] U district predation

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Tue Oct 4 11:59:13 PDT 2011

Hello, tweets.

I had a thrill this morning. Coming from my dentist, I went to get my car from a parking lot on Brooklyn south of 43rd St. in the University district at about 8:45 am. As I approached, I could see and hear that there was a crowd of crows having fits. I quickly located the cause, an adult male Peregrine Falcon that had just caught a Rock Pigeon and was killing it on the parking lot. The crows were hysterical, all around it and creating quite a cawcophony, but not coming too near. The falcon then flew across the parking lot but couldn't gain much altitude (the predator wasn't a lot larger than the prey) so landed again. It proceeded with the killing attempt (pigeon wings flapping) as I watched from about 60 feet away. The crows meanwhile had grown to >50 birds, and more were coming all the time.

The Peregrine finally tried to fly up again and angled so it went up the alley and was able to gain enough altitude to go over a one-story building and disappeared over University Avenue heading east. I lost it then but could follow its progress by all the crows hot on its tail. Meanwhile, all the time the sky above had a wheeling flock of around 100 pigeons, and they actually moved in the same direction as the falcon as it departed. Also several Glaucous-winged Gulls in the air screaming bloody murder too.

It was a superlative nature experience right in the middle of the city, only downside that I didn't have a camera in my hand!

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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