Friday, January 05, 2007

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.


Laurie said...

What luck!! You should tame him and become... *dramatic pause* The Falconer!!

Kipluck aka: BethAnn, Bob, Mayberry said...

*GASP* I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!! Okay first of all let me just out yet another of my Nerd tendencies but I have recently become OBSESSED with bird watching. 2ndly, well, Peregrines happen to be my FAVORITE bird of prey! They are so cute and FAST! Plus, well, we had to draw them a lot in my art class because that was my Jr. High mascot.

Sherpa said...

Laurie, that's brilliant!!!

Funny thing, a couple of years ago one of the Falconer sketches was "set" in the woods near here. So apropo.