Look whose moved in..There goes the neighborhood..
Yesterday morning, I was standing at the corner of 18th and D street waiting to cross the street and enter my office building when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a fairly large flying object headed towards my head. I ducked a little, looked up and there was a "bird of prey" landing in the tree right next to my office building with a rat in its talons (I was glad he didn't drop his breakfast on my head). The bird looked like a hawk, but didn't have the coloring of a hawk, and I couldn't really see its head--so I wondered if it was an owl. I went over to take a look at the nest to see what kind of bird it was, and the girl next to me said it was a hawk. I thought to myself, that doesn't look like a hawk-or even a goshawk (I had a couple of goshawks try to divebomb my head several times on the Ashley while I was a timber cruiser).
This morning, I saw the bird again on his/her nest (and I noticed another similar nest in a tree a block over on 17th and C street) and had a hunch it wasn't a hawk, but a peregrine falcon. Sure enough, thanks to google images, I think a peregrine falcon family has moved in right next to the Dept. of Interior. I hope the FWS doesn't evict this bird. Although their nest building is questionable (in a low lying branch right over a busy intersection--i fear for the eyas that will probably make an appearance in the next couple of months), these birds know location, location, location. The park named after a civil war general next to my building(the name evades) is home to many rats, and in the summer several mallard duck families (now I know why none of the ducklings make it past the age of several weeks old). The National Mall is a block away, home to many tourists, dumpsters for a foraging falcon, and an even larger rat, duck and geese population). These squatters know location.