Reader report: Hawkish about pigeons


That photo, and this narrative, just out of the WSB inbox, from Babs:

I had just walked into my front door and looked toward my deck which is 5 stories up with a city view. Two birds fell off the roof to the deck in right in front of my slider door. I looked closer and it was a hawk with a pigeon in his (or her) talons. I grabbed my camera and moved toward the slider – that scared the hawk and he moved allowing his lunch (the pigeon) to escape. Insanity occurred in the sky (crows and pigeons flying everywhere to get away from the unhappy hawk.)

A few minutes later the hawk returned to my deck and I took this picture (not the best but I had just a second) – So guess I’m in trouble with the hawk hood! My cats are indoor girls! Sorry dude! (My building has a lot of pigeons that hang out up here so I assume it’s an “all you can eat Hawk buffet.”)

13 Replies to "Reader report: Hawkish about pigeons"

  • jiggers February 21, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    As I’ve said before that Pidgeons are nothing more than rats in the air.

  • forrest February 21, 2008 (5:36 pm)

    I wish I could get a hawk or falcon just a block south of the Junction.

    There is a LARGE group of pigeons there and they congregate on the utility pole right above the sidewalk at the 5-way intersection at California, Edmonds and Erskine.

    It seriously looks the ground has been paintballed there. I always walk out at the edge of the sidewalk now to make sure I don’t get hit.

  • chas redmond February 21, 2008 (6:04 pm)

    what was that quote:

    “Loose the raptors.”

    do it already.

  • Ron Burgundy February 21, 2008 (6:19 pm)

    Probably a peregrin(sp) falcon. Pigeons are their favorite. We need more of them around.

  • manjuju February 21, 2008 (7:00 pm)

    forrest, I’ve seen them too. The problem is that the workers at 7-11 feed them every morning. I’ve seen them feed them and that’s why they come back. That corner is a turdground of pidgeon crap when you cross that intersection. You have to complain to the city.

  • fiz February 21, 2008 (7:40 pm)

    Nope, Coopers Hawk.

  • Mark Ahlness February 21, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    Looks like a peregrine falcon to me, esp. given location and prey. Beautiful bird.

  • Forest February 21, 2008 (11:04 pm)

    forrest –

    Welcome to the comments section of WSB, but please choose a different screen name. I’ve been posting here for a couple years now, and I don’t want your comments confused with mine.
    Thank you.

  • lala February 21, 2008 (11:40 pm)

    When it comes to the pigeons at the 7-11… I have walked under them at leat 6 times a week, for 3 years now. I’ve never been pooped on when they are resting on the overhead wires. They do make for some wonderful air-art when they all decide to fly up in a group, but I wonder if anyone here would notice.

    Get over it. They harm no one. It’s seattle, not New York. The few flocks of pigeons here are not anything to get all annoyed at.

  • forrest February 22, 2008 (10:34 am)

    Forest – I don’t comment regularly enough to see this being a concern.

    I’m a lurker. I think I’ve commented a grand total of 2-3 times in the 6 months I’ve been reading this blog.

    I just hate the pigeons near me :)

  • JumboJim February 22, 2008 (11:12 am)

    Actually, this is an immature Red-tailed Hawk. You can rule out peregrine falcon by the fact that it doesn’t have prominent black horizontal barring on the chest and belly and lacks the classic “sideburns”.
    Immature redtails are pretty white underneath with variable brown vertical streaks and a dark brown head. Young cooper’s hawks don’t have a dark throat and have a longer tail.

    Unfortunately Redtails aren’t major pigeon predators, but young, hungry birds will try for anything. One of the reasons Redtails are so successful in urban/suburban areas is that they are a generalist in feeding. Mostly they eat rodents though.

  • Beasley February 22, 2008 (12:53 pm)

    I must have been a red-tailed hawk in my previous life then. Generalist eating is the only explanation I have for lunching on Corn Nuts and Smarties today.

  • chas redmond February 22, 2008 (3:42 pm)

    If you want some real hands-on “feel” of a deadly beak, get down to the Aquarium soon while Octopus week is going on because they have the “beaks” from 5 octopi ranging from 10 to 50 pounds/animal and these beaks are like industrial crunching machines – even the 10 pound octopus could easily crunch off a human arm in one bite – they’re somewhat articulated and have about three times the thickness of a typical raptor beak. The new Aquarium, btw, is pretty swift – they’ve done a really good job with a sparse amount of funds.

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