I haven't read all the many emails that have followed this thread so
this may have been raised before and, if so, I apologise in advance.
I noticed early on some discussion re the head of the victim being
removed and an assumption that it was a Peregrine. This may well be,
however, I understand that the removal of the head is also a sign of fox
I wonder how that fits in with the scenarios described. Could it be a
fox and not a Peregrine? I am inclined to think that a broken neck is
much more to be expected as a result of a Peregrine attack, however I am
no expert and have no personal experience of Peregrine attacks. I don't
have any personal experience of fox behaviour apart from seeing what was
presumably fox kills, over the years, in areas where Peregrine activity
was extremely unlikely.
Anyway - just thought I'd offer the fox thought.
On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:45:25 +1000, "Mike Carter"
> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 7:25 PM, Evan Beaver <> wrote:
> >>> Excellent response Phillip, exactly what I was thinking.
> >>> I can't imagine the impact that would be required on a bird in the
> >>> air, so with nothing to provide an opposing force, to dislodge the
> >>> head!
> Evan, it is obvious that you have not seen a stooping Peregrine hit
> bird, especially a big one, otherwise you would know considerable force
> Even more spectacular is the stoop of a Grey Falcon as they seem to do it
> from even greater heights. I saw one stoop from several hundred metres.
> Moreover, Evan, you don't have to imagine it. I'm not suggesting that you
> can do this but the force could be estimated by calculation using a 500g
> mass stooping at between 160 to 440 km per hour. You will of course have
> assume a stopping distance. Nevertheless, it will be substantial.
> And of course there is an opposing 'force' - it's called INERTIA.
> Other than being ripped off, that is one way the head might be dislodged.
> The sudden acceleration of the body - the whiplash effect.
> Perhaps you hadn't realised that the head rest on your car seat is to
> your head moving BACK when your body moves FORWARD having been hit from
> Nevertheless, it is probably rare for the head to be removed in flight.
> Mike Carter
> 30 Canadian Bay Road
> Mount Eliza VIC 3930
> Tel (03) 9787 7136
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So many birds, so little time......
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