At the House of D

Falco peregrinusPeregrine (Falco peregrinus) at entrance to the scrape. There are many finely-tuned words in falconry: “scrape” is purely descriptive; the birds may scrape a shallow depression for their nest. That’s about all the nest is. These hybrid urban falcons, though… it seems unlikely there was any soft earth or gravel in this utilitarian space, just dust, and, cough, particulate from Atlantic Avenue.Falco peregrinusIt looks like a tight squeeze, not at all like the open-air platform of 55 Water Street, or the door-like holes of the Brooklyn Bridge, or the Gil Hodges’ gunnery slot. Note the history of droppings from previous years’ use.
Falco peregrinusMy worries about the foot of one of these Brooklyn falcons seem to have been misplaced. Standing on one foot with the other foot drawn up is SOP for Peregrines. A follower of my Twitter told me her parrot does the same thing. As it happens, genetic evidence now suggests falcons (Order Falconiformes) are more closely related to parrots (Psittaciformes) and songbirds (Passeriformes) than to other hawks. Taxonomy, long-based on “looks-like” anatomical similarities, is being revolutionized at the genetic level.

7 Responses to “At the House of D”


  1. 1 elwnyc March 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Contemplating the thought of peregrines as predatory parrots…

  2. 3 Zina March 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Wonderful piece: I learn and marvel!

  3. 4 elwnyc March 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I wonder if that means other falcons, like kestrels, whose facial markings are so similar to peregrines, could be related to parrots too.

  4. 6 elwnyc March 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    From eating fruits, seeds, mud, and crackers, to going after poor unfortunate flying rats and dragonflies – what a split in the family tree!


  1. 1 City of Roosts | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 6, 2016 at 7:00 am

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