Re: Peregrines

To: Ian lundy <>
Subject: Re: Peregrines
From: Stephen Ambrose <>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 17:25:15 +1000
Ian lundy wrote:
> After years of watching peregrines soaring around and occasionally hunting I
> finally saw a successful strike yesterday when I was staring out of my
> office window in the middle of Sydney.  Peregrines are regulars around here
> and most days a pair seem to spend some time soaring around although before
> yesterday I hadn't actually seen them hunting here.  Yesterday afternoon as
> I was staring aimlessly out the window two birds went flying past my window.
> They came from out of view and disappeared out of view quickly but I saw
> enough of them to tell that one was a peregrine and one was a pigeon and
> that the peregrine had made an unsuccessful attempt to catch itself some
> lunch.  I assumed that the pigeon had survived after a lucky escape.
> Shortly afterwards as I was still staring out the window the birds came back
> into view from above.  This time there were two peregrines and the pigeon.
> The pigeon was out in the open, 30 floors up with nowhere to hide.  It
> looked like the easiest of catches for the peregrine, the pigeon was flying
> down and one of the peregrines just flew down and landed on the pigeon's
> back then carried the pigeon off, still flapping, to the top of a nearby
> building where it soon stopped flapping.  And all of this happened within 50
> metres of where I was standing.  Unfortunately I missed most of the chase
> but the catch was still pretty amazing to see at such close range.
> Ian Lundy
> *********************
> (02) 9251 1591 (w)
> (02) 9361 6252 (h)
> 0419 844 502 (m)
> *********************

Hi Ian,

I can relate to your sense of awe in relation to this incident. One of my most 
bird-watching experiences was seeing a Peregrine harassing a small flock of 
Swallows on the beach at the Eyre Bird Observatory, WA in the early 1980s. The 
out-manouevered the Peregrine while remaining as a tight flock because of their 
aerobatic abilities. However, after several minutes of being harassed one 
swallow made a 
fatal mistake of trying to out-pace the Peregrine by flying in a relatively 
line out to sea. I focussed my binoculars on the swallow just in time to see it 
snatched by the Peregrine. A wonderful sight, but not so good for the swallow!

Stephen Ambrose
RAOU Research and Conservation Manager
  (at home)
Stephen Ambrose <>  (at work)

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