Raptor Wednesday

Peregrines are pretty regularly spotted above Brooklyn Borough Hall and Columbus and Cadman Plaza parks to its north. There’s a long-time scape (nesting site) nearby in the Pokey, and I heard from a passerby that there has also been one at the federal court house north of the Centrol PO. First I’ve heard of that. Anybody know?

The other day, heading towards a meeting in Borough Hall (which looks better inside then out, as it happens), I kept my eyes open. That means up, carefully, since commuters were shooting up and down Court Street’s subway portals. The unmistakable silhouette of a Peregrine appeared overhead, swooping through clouds of pigeons and starlings. The bird made several passes, hitting nothing. Then it headed south. Almost immediately, a falcon appeared from the west, making me think there were actually two airborne. This one also made several tries in the melee of birds. Again, no hits. It perched above 26 Court.

The first falcon appeared then, before flying off west. So there were definitely two. It was quite a show. The birds swooped rather low over Columbus Park when they made their stoops. Equally remarkable is that nobody else seemed to notice the storm of pigeons and the boomerang-scyth hurtling through them, until, when, I was standing in the middle of cold, empty plaza in front of Borough Hall looking up, someone asked me if the bird was a hawk.

A friend stopped by the area in the afternoon and saw one of the falcons take a pigeon and then retreat to Brooklyn Law School to eat it.

These made for my 429th and 430th raptor sightings of the year. “Daily Raptor” indeed. This number doesn’t count the bonanza of Swedish raptors, but it does include birds spotted outside of NYC. I’ll break out the NYC numbers at the end of the year.

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Meanwhile: the ice is melting, and this worse-case projection will probably be considered mild in several years.

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