Raptor Wednesday: Justice Edition

For the last two weeks I’ve been serving on a jury in a murder trial. This was the view from the jury room: downtown Brooklyn, with the dwarfed tower of Borough Hall just visible to the left of the long Supreme Court building in the foreground. The row of buildings from the center to the left in the middle distance are on the appropriately named Court Street.

Forgive the noir lighting, but there are eight million stories in the naked city, and the one I heard about in the jury box was a doozy. But this, of course, is a nature blog. And these Court St. buildings are all Peregrine falcon perches.

I spotted Peregrines on eight of the nine days I reported for my civic duty, either from the 18th floor itself; or walking in Columbus Plaza, which is on the other side of the Supreme Court building; or from both vantages on the same day. The only falcon-free day was one of miserable weather when I explored some other parts of the area.
To be sure of my timely arrival in court, I would arrive early and wander around Peregrine Alley beforehand. It was mostly cold and bright. A good number of pigeons roost on the east side of Borough Hall, as pictured above.

Some views: one of the falcons hovered around the central building in agitation as a Red-tailed Hawk swept through. Another day, one of the falcons was eating on the edge of the Brooklyn Law School. The occasional burst of plucked feathers would filter down on hundreds of people passing obliviously by. This was just minutes after both falcons had been circling near each other. I didn’t see the stoop, but it was obviously successful. Another tim,e one of the birds went from one building to another to a third (out of the picture) before settling for some time with the view of all below. 66 Court St., with the lantern atop its pyramid, was a regular perch.

On my last day, Monday, we four alternates were dismissed as the twelve regular jurors began deliberations. Outside about 11:30: there was a Peregrine atop the head of the gold figure of Justice on top of Borough Hall and another perched across the street.

Yes, atop the statue of Justice. In Brooklyn, she is not blind… (and, oh yeah, I am still waiting to hear what the verdict was).

I couldn’t lug my camera to court, so let’s go to the files: a Peregrine atop that same lady two years ago.

3 Responses to “Raptor Wednesday: Justice Edition”


  1. 2 Paul Lamb December 20, 2018 at 6:35 am

    That top photo nurtures my existential dread. It warms my black and shriveled heart, though, to hear of a citizen who did not shirk civic duty. I’ve been called and dismissed twice but never sat on an actual jury. Employers have always assured me they could “get me out” of jury duty, but I consider it a civic sacrament, like voting and keeping informed. Some day, I hope.

    • 3 mthew December 20, 2018 at 7:33 am

      The trial was an experience of a lifetime. I urge people to serve. Those weaseling out, and there were a few obviously attempting to do so from the pool during selection, really have forfeited their citizenship.


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