Kalamazoo’s Pergrine Falcon Family Update Sunday July 6, 2014

Here is the latest update on the Kalamazoo Peregrine Falcon family from Dave Chmielewski with two of his great photos. Getting there at 7 AM on a Sunday morning is dedication.

Fair light this morning for photography. Roof top was empty. I guess everyone else was still in bed. I wanted to be BUT. When I arrived I scanned all the building roof tops for falcons. None. Now I’m thinking I should have stayed in bed. While my camera was still in the trunk Rebecca did a slow gliding flyby right over my head. Well she was coming from the east so it would have been a bad shot I told myself. Then before I was ready she came back from the west and perched on the 5th3rd roof top rail, one of her favorite lookout positions. Still no Juveniles in sight.

I focused on Rebecca and stayed that way for 10 minutes sensing she was on the hunt. And sure enough she started her “twitch” for about 15 seconds and then LOCKED ON to her target and she was gone. The first photo attached is about one second after impact according to the metadata in my camera. You can see Rebecca bending over severing the spine of the pigeon. To my amazement, within the next 15 seconds, two juveniles came out of nowhere and attempted to take the pigeon from Rebecca. Maybe that was her intent. There may have been more than two juveniles but I was viewing all of this through a 500mm lens so I may have missed another bird.

After the aerial acrobatics all the birds flew behind the 5th3rd building where it appears they split up the spoils, as one juvenile came around and landed on the Gilmore tower with a portion and another landed on the Public Service building. After breakfast the juvi on the tower joined his sibling on the Public Service building. Then they both launched into the same area where Rebecca had made her kill. They weren’t successful but they sure did have the pigeons on the move. Sorry I couldn’t get better shots but I was at the falcons’ mercy as to where they decided to hunt. BUT what an experience.