Peregrines and pigeons

To: <>
Subject: Peregrines and pigeons
From: <>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 07:36:59 +1100
G'day John,
Of course they often just drop them or knock them out the air!  I've seen it happen nearly as many times as I've seen a successful kill.  Great examples were a Peregrine dropping a Green Pygmy Goose into a lagoon on sth end of Cape York.  Also at Ginninderra Peninsula, a hobby that smashed a Stubble Quail but dropped it, which upon presentation from the pointer, had two talon marks across the breast right down to the breast plate stopping at the 'keel' even severing the 'tenderloin'. 
cheers, Alex.
-----Original Message-----
From: John Layton [
Sent: Saturday, 26 November 2005 2:55 PM
To: chat line
Cc: Byrne Family
Subject: [canberrabirds] Peregrines and pigeons

Pulled into Campbell Park late Friday afternoon just as the sunshine appeared after an overcast day. While walking along the road near the main entrance to the offices, I noticed some feathers floating down through the still air. I wondered if a pigeon (or Rock Dove, if you will) had been taken by a falcon.
Not ten paces later, I found a dead pigeon a couple of metres off the road. A quick examination revealed it was still warm. Then, so help me, as I stood up, a Peregrine Falcon flew slowly over, five metres above my head. It seemed to be staring intently at me and/or the pigeon. So I went off a distance and watched for a while to see if the falcon returned, but no joy. Anyhow, I went into the woods and watched the birds for 45 minutes.
On my way back the pigeon was still there. So, I'm left wondering if the peregrine killed it. I feel that it did, but will never know for certain. If so, why didn't it collect its kill? Was it put off by traffic and people? I seem to remember hearing/reading that sometimes raptors will 'thrill-kill' or 'practice-kill', but I'm a bit dubious about that.
John Layton.
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