Peregrine Falcon in Canberra

To: (Birding Aus)
Subject: Peregrine Falcon in Canberra
From: Paul Taylor <>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 23:15:43 +1100 (EST)
Over the past few weeks, I've seen a Peregrine Falcon hunting around
the Russell Offices in Canberra.  Not really big news in itself,
but since I've seen it here regularly, it's possible the falcon
has taken up residence in the area.  I believe they have nested
on a building in the City Centre before; could this be a young bird
looking for its own territory?

My first sighting of the falcon was on a rather rainy day, where
I spotted it using one of the cranes on the construction site at
the rear of the offices as a lookout.  It launched a few attack runs
over the tops of some of the buildings where the local Rock Dove and
Starling populations roost, but without success.  

Since then I've seen it briefly on a number of occasions, and also
flocks of Rock Doves and Starlings high-tailing out of the area
(from which I assumed the falcon was hunting somewhere about.)
Once the falcon flew past my office window which was a real buzz,
but has caused many false alarms since from Rock Doves pretending to
be falcons.  :)

Yesterday, the falcon was performing some elegant aerobatic manoeuvres
and a couple of stoops in Blamey Square; I think out of fun, since
I couldn't see any prey that it might be persuing.

This morning, the falcon was flying at about waist height at approx.
60 kph from the Square towards the lake, presumably hoping to flush
a galah that normally feed in the grass there.  I'd estimate it flew
no more than 5-10 metres away from my car; at that range it's easy
to see why they are a Galah's worst nightmare.  Magic! 

Sidenote:  I noticed in my Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary that
the (archaic) meaning of "peregrine" is: "foreign, imported from abroad,
outlandish."  Could this be part of the origin of the conspiracy
theories put forward by some pigeon-fanciers that Peregrine Falcons
aren't a native species, but were imported by the government for evil
anti-pigeon purposes?  (The other source of this theory is, I believe,
because early birdbands had "Aust. Gov." or similar on them instead of

 _                                                       ___   |\
 \\                                                   __/   |__| \
  \\                                         |       / Bird lists \
   \\    __            Paul Taylor           ^      / 1996: 253spp.\
    \\__/ .\_                                "     /  Life: 348spp. \
    |      /                     \ (up 23spp.from /
     \____/                                         \    _____1995)/
      //         \__/     \___/
      \\                                     |                  __
       ""                                   _|_                 \/

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Peregrine Falcon in Canberra, Paul Taylor <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU