Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Falcon frenzy #230

The birds are calling me to update, specifically one bird, who seems to be saying, "hey, you are forgetting me!"

Of course, it's a special bird since it was also my high school mascot :)

I am quite fortunate to enjoy views of peregrine falcons from the windows of my workplace. Yesterday I spotted one swerving and diving on my walk to the building from the bus stop, and today first thing in the morning while talking to a coworker I spotted an unmistakable profile posted on a nearby building ledge from her window. Backlit and standing in profile, it looked like a gargoyle on the corner of the stone Justice building, but a moving one, as it flung feathers and guts over the ledge (watch were you step on the sidewalk below!). They nest on the building right beside me, but unfortunately I face the wrong direction, so my best chances of seeing them are on my walk in or as they cruise by, or when post up on other buildings while they hunt (which are still a little far for photographing).

Actually, Ottawa now has not one but two pairs of nesting falcons! The downtown pair is older but their eggs have failed for the last three years. Nobody knows where the new pair came from since they didn't have tags, but they did nest successfully this year.

My coworkers are well aware of my enthusiasm and never fail to let me know when I've missed them because I was away on break or teleworking or on training, whatever it might be. One well-meaning employee even took a cell-phone picture for me (not exactly useful for these purposes).

Well aside, from my downtown sightings, I was lucky to see two other sets of peregrines recently which have prompted me to finally count this amazing bird.

The first time was on a weekend trip to Bon Echo Provincial Park. Peregrines like tall buildings downtown because they are similar to their natural habitat--sheer cliffs. Bon Echo's famous Mazinaw Rock (which is also special because of its native pictographs, which you have to view by boat) is such a cliff face and I was lucky to catch a peregrine, hunting a kingfisher no less, while there.
Bon Echo's Mazinaw Rock
Then again, I was at Algonquin Park's Barron Canyon a few weekends ago, where I spotted yet another pair of peregrines. I hadn't expected them, but it makes perfect sense, given the tall sheer cliffs of the canyon. I have to say, it was really special to see them in a wild habitat, where they were meant to be, instead of downtown.

perfect habitat for peregrines

Anyways, I could keep going, about their impressive stats, about their comeback from near extinction, but I'll just post the pics of these great birds. One day, hopefully I'll manage to get some decent shots of the downtown Ottawa birds.

#230: Peregrine Falcon


1 comment:

Tiffanie said...

Gorgeous shots! Congrats on the life bird :)