Some strange things are going on with the behavior of the peregrine falcons who live in downtown Binghamton. Since I am not a wildlife expert, or a bird expert, I am at a loss to know why-all I can do is describe from the viewpoint of someone who has worked downtown as long as these birds have lived on top of the Security Mutual Building.
I wonder if they are unhappy. OK, I know there are people who say birds can't feel emotions. I love being around birds, and I disagree.
I hear them crying. A lot. It is a haunting cry and echoes through the city streets nearly every morning. This year they are much more vocal than they have ever been. And this has been going on for over a month. It is not normal behavior compared to previous years. I may be "humanizing" their behavior but I imagine them upset about something.
The other thing I've noticed is that their choice of dining has changed.
It's hard to ignore the, uh, remains of dinner when you walk past the Security Mutual building. Falcons, in my view, are picky eaters. They will only eat certain parts of the prey bird, and then leave the rest of their meal for some poor human to clean up for them. (I'm glad I'm not that person.)
For years, the prey has been pigeons.
Not any more. Dinner is now consistently small birds, maybe even songbirds.
The pigeon population started to decline when the falcons moved into Binghamton in 2001 but we still have pigeons. I see them nearly every day.
Which brings me full circle back to the crying birds. Could it be that they aren't finding enough prey? I would think they would move (after all they can fly)? Did they lose their babies this year? Are they sensing something about the weather, perhaps the coming winter?
Is there something going on? Or am I fussing about nothing?
I wish I knew.