The Fastest Animal On Earth

Yesterday, I didn’t get any pictures, but I did find out that we can view the pair from our loft’s windows!! I can see the Monadnock ledge, the skyperch and some of the garage using Mary’s spotting scope set up in the southeastern corner of our loft. The window glass causes a tiny bit of distortion, but still and all, it’s nice to be able to check in on them anytime I want.

From yesterday to today, we saw a falcon (both falcons?) with birds and one bat on at least seven different occasions. Man, they are really eating! It’s way too far away to see any leg band information, though.

Today, I went to the garage roof before work. The parents came in and out of the nest with food 5 times during my hour there. The male (?) landed on the top of the stairwell building on the garage again, but that wily guy took off before I could back up enough to see his leg bands. We really stared each other down, too. They have such intense eyes.

Peregrine FalconI took this very difficult to decipher photo after he took off from the stairwell building and went about 15 stories up from my 12-story spot onto the ledge of a building to the north – the skyperch. He sat up there for a bit of time. Then, he jumped off the ledge and went into an exhilarating tuck dive. He was going so fast and it was so stunning to watch, I completely forgot the camera. He rolled and came right for me, swooping up about 2 feet over my head and then sailing over to the edge of the nest for a noisy, chattery switch off with the female. I was stunned.

Mary told me that peregrines can reach up to 200mph in a dive and are the fastest animal on Earth. Sean says that’s sort of cheating, because most of the speed can be attributed to gravity rather than the animal’s own locomotion. I think it’s just danged fast. Anyway. The MCC male probably wasn’t going that fast, but he was MOVING out. What a show off!

As I walked to the bus stop on State Street, I looked up and saw a huge flock of pigeons come around the corner from VanBuren, flying in from the west to the east. They turned and went north up Plymouth. Max flew in hot pursuit at about a 7-story level, right up Federal. He flew that circuit a few times and then I saw him heading back to the nest with something in his talons. I wonder if people in these buildings ever look out their window to see pigeons screaming by, followed by a big falcon?

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~ by Steph on May 8, 2006.