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Falcon Flight

Every morning Hubby and I have coffee outside on the patio and watch the birds at the birdfeeders.  Hummingbirds and finches, mostly.  Our cats sometimes get one, sometimes we have to put the cats in the house because the birds won't come to the feeders if the cats are lounging beneath them.

Anyway, this morning cats are lounging around, but not bothering the birds, and the birds are busy with their morning seeds.  We get 50 to 100 busy birds every morning.  They wait in the trees and take turns at the feeder.  Cheep cheep cheep all the time.  This is a wonderful ritual for us.

So as I take a sip of coffee,a falcon comes swooping over the roof and dives at the feeder.  He is absolutely silent.

The birds explode with a burst of feathers, zooming off in all directions AND all 6 cats come streaking into the house!  in 2 seconds it is eerily quiet.  We keep a lookout, and the falcon comes gliding back for a second pass, but there is nothing there.  He swoops up and away.  We wait but not a single cat comes back outside (the door is open) nor do any of the birds come back to the feeder.  About 10 minutes later a hummingbird comes and has some sugar.  I guess Falcons don't eat hummingbirds.

*loves birds*


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 15th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
What a bloody lovely way to start they day!
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
yes, and this time of year is especially beautiful. It is about 65 degrees in the mornings and the humidity is a pleasant 8%. Ah....
Oct. 15th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know too much about birds. I had to look up what a Falcon looked like first! LOL Poor little birdies and kitties! I hope that Falcon stays away or you'll have to get a calvary of hummingbirds to charge at him! ;-)
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
The falcons are beautiful birds and I love to see them, but I don't like that it means I can't see any OTHER birds, LOL. And those hummingbirds are very agressive! A hummingbird fight is something to see. They do maneuvers like dogfighting fighter planes all over the yard, screamming ztseek ztseek the whole time. I do not doubt that they would chase a falcon away.
Oct. 15th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Whoa. That's intense! Hummingbirds are pretty awesome--that's cool that you get to see a lot of them. What a way to spend the morning!
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Central Arizona is a major wintering place for hummingbirds, so we see hundreds (or the same one a hundred times XD ) they suck the feeder dry each week.

But what was interesting to me is the cats' reaction to the falcon. Surely their mothers had not taught them about falcons. I mean, they split like it was a teradactyl gonna eat them! We see these beautiful falcons a couple times a year, so it is not like they are around much. And the little birds! They just burst apart and feathers were literally drifting to the ground afterwards.
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Whoa! I wish I had seen that! Do you know what kind of falcon it was? You must have a lot of visiting birds right now. I know our robins are all gone....Aren't you in Arizona? We have feeders too.

One time I was going out to fill one and a Cooper's Hawk had been chasing a pine sisken through the huge Douglas fir in our back yard. The feeder hangs from an enormous branch. The hawk came right out at me, I had inavdertently stepped in between them. I saw her inches from my face, her vicious little set of ginzu knives up and ready for the sisken. I closed my eyes (it was a reaction) and waited, hoping she wouldn't "foot" my face...I felt the tip of her longest primaries graze my cheeks ...I had seen her wings come forward in a braking position as she saw me. I opened my eyes and she had done a ninety degree turn and missed me. You probably know this but just in case...Coopers are built to hunt in the trees for birds. They have long tails for balance, so they can dodge and turn with the best of them. Now I know what it's like to see the hunter coming for you! This same bird killed a crow! The crow was as big as the Coopie. It was long and brutal and I don't want to see it again...but she did it. The other crows screamed and dive-bombed her during the whole process. She had to drag her prize into the woods on short hops. She couldn't get it into the air. She doesn't flinch from her calling. Sorry I rambled on like that! I don't get to tell that story much.
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
oooh! what a great story! We live in the suburbs, so we do not get to see raptors very often....but peregrines do come hunting pigeons here every now and then. Here is a picture of one:

This bird did not flap until it had gone through the cloud of little birds and needed to gain altitude.

Yes, we are in Arizona, and birdwatching becomes more exciting in the winter when the guest species come to live for a few months.
Oct. 16th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
Birds are a lovely way to start one's morning - once you're awake, that is.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )