Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Urban Peregrine Falcon Encounter

Adventure can be found on the sidewalks of downtown Binghamton, New York, a small upstate city of about 47,000 population.

Yesterday, I was walking on the sidewalk next to the Security Mutual Building in downtown, on my way to the Broome County library.  Security Mutual owns a 10 story building (the third tallest in downtown) and peregrine falcons have nested on top of the building for years.

Passing by this building is its own adventure.  At this time of years, droppings will come raining down (I got hit a week ago), and it isn't uncommon to find what is left of the falcons' meals (to put it delicately).  Also, the babies experience a high mortality rate.

It is an experience hearing the calls of the adults, and you can sometimes see them flying from building to building.
This one wasn't flying.

This is the third time in my nearly 20 years working downtown that I've seen one of the young birds on the ground.  The bird was obviously injured.

There was a woman guarding it.  She had called for help and was waiting for help to arrive, she explained.  She knew someone with a conservation officer in her family.
I wasn't about to get too close - this was using the zoom on my iPhone.

Other pedestrians weren't stopping.  One, oblivious, almost stepped on the bird, who hobbled out of the way, and hopped into the street and under a parked truck. Finally, the bird emerged and sort of hopped onto a decorative rock. There it stayed until someone came out of the building with a box and managed to put it over the bird.

At that point, I decided the bird was safe, and resumed my walk.  On the way back, a half hour later, everyone was gone, including the bird and the box.

I hope this bird makes it.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a baby bird?


  1. Years ago I posted a photo of a Cooper's hawk feeding her young one while sitting on my garden trellis. Yesterday, Charlie and I watched the young robins learning to fly in the backyard. I've never seen a falcon. How very cool.

  2. Hopefully, the bird will be safe now. We often have birds who build nests in our gardens and then get to see the whole process of them looking after the young ones till the day they leave the nest.

  3. I hope the bird makes it, too.

    I found a nest of baby bunnies at a playground last year. The playground was covered in wood chips -- for a softer landing if a child falls -- and mother rabbit dug into the pile of wood chips to make a nest for her litter. There were four babies, I hope they all made it.

  4. Baby and adult birds. They loved to stand on my picnic table and would not move for anyone. In my new abode, there are one or two that think the wrought iron fence is their sanctuary- and I have no right to approach. (They reproach me when I do...)

  5. Wow. I'm so glad there were some good-hearted folks that helped this bird. Can't imagine walking right by a falcon sitting on the sidewalk without noticing!

  6. So glad someone was looking after it. Thanks for sharing this lovely story.

  7. How cool. The only baby birds I've seen lately are baby geese, but not too close as daddy goose is quite hostile to anyone who passes by.

  8. Our house backs up to woods where Red Tailed Hawks nest. They get used to us and will sometimes come and sit on our deck. I just love seeing them, they're such majestic birds.

  9. Oooooh, hope it made it too! Such a wonderful creature. Yes, have been saving birds twice- one crashed into my living room window... only seemed a bit dizzy at the balcony before flying off again. What a great feeling - when it looked dead one minute and the next flying happily off:-) Great photos:-)

  10. I hope that bird makes it as well! We've a ton of red-tailed hawks out here. I see many of them perched on lamp posts along the Great Highway, a road running along the ocean here in SF, waiting to catch a critter tucked away in the ice plants.

  11. Some one might call the fish and game about this bird. In the fall we usual get big owls return.
    Coffee is on

  12. I really hope the bird was safe. Glad that someone called the helpline. We have loads of Parakeets and Cockatoos around here, but not Falcons.


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.