Jan 27 2010

Watch Out Below!

Published by at 7:07 am under Peregrines

Peregrine falcon, SW, stoops at prey in Cleveland (photo by Chad+Chris Saladin)
Faster than a speeding bullet a female peregrine falcon dove off the Huntington Bank Building, accelerating only feet away from its vertical edge.

It was a daredevil move and it worked.  The pigeons loafing far below were shocked out of their daydreams and bolted off the window ledges.  Her new mate joined the fray in an impressive display of co-operative hunting.  What a team!

Teamwork is part of peregrine courtship because it takes the dedication of both adults to raise a brood of nestlings.  Before they nest, peregrines cement their pair bond and practice teamwork by chasing off threats (hawks, owls and vultures) and by hunting co-operatively. 

During the hunt, one member of the pair rouses the prey and the other helps chase for the kill.  Sometimes it looks as if they are herding pigeons.  On rare occasions I’ve witnessed this action at Pitt, but it’s difficult to see with limited sight lines among the buildings.  Chad and Chris Saladin were lucky to be there when SW and her new mate, Ranger, showed off their skills in Downtown Cleveland on New Years Day.

And what did it look like when the pigeons scattered?  Click SW’s photo to see.

Hey, you pigeons!  Watch out below!

(photos by Chad+Chris Saladin)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Watch Out Below!”

  1. Steve Von 27 Jan 2010 at 7:29 am

    Wow, that is an amazing picture!

  2. Kathyon 27 Jan 2010 at 8:24 am

    Really great!!

  3. Peggy Hookeyon 27 Jan 2010 at 11:19 am

    Congratulations to the photographers and to you for posting them and your
    comments. The consistancy of nature.

  4. Margeon 27 Jan 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Whoa!! What a moment and what a capture!! Thanks to you for sharing and the photographers for their quickness.

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