Friday, December 14, 2007

The 2:00 Show

Before I moved back to Alaska, I lived in Sacramento, California. I was working in downtown, in a skyscraper with glass walls, across the street from another skyscraper with glass walls.

And there was this beautiful peregrine falcon who was nesting on the top of one of these buildings, and hunting in the valley between them.

What she hunted was pigeons. And she had found an ingenious method of attack. She would wait until a flock flew between the buildings, pick out one and chase it into the windows of the building across the street from us. Whack! would go the pigeon as it hit the glass, breaking its neck. And the falcon would swoop down and pluck its dead body as it fell from the sky. For those of us who tend to root for the predator, it was a wonderful thing to watch. And we got to watch it often, because the falcon had a schedule. However many pigeons she took at other times, for some reason at just about 2:00, she always took one. In the firm I was working for, we would gather in Tom's office to watch.

But in the firm across the street, the one with the window that the pigeon always smacked up against, there worked a man who did not enjoy the spectacle. Actually, I imagine that if I had worked in that office, if I had seen pigeon after pigeon fly into the glass inches from my desk and break its neck, if there were streaks of blood on my office window, I might not have liked it either. At any rate, long about 2:00 as we gathered in Tom's office to watch, the poor guy across the street would dart out the door to avoid watching.

Photos: Falcon, Free Information Society; Pigeon, Greece


Deja Pseu said...

Peregrine falcons are incredible. Talk about adaptaion to a changing environment!

When I worked on the 6th floor in a building in West LA, there was an outcropping of ledge outside our cubicle area, and a little peregrine used to perch there daily to scope out the territory. Never actually got to see her hunt, though.

J at said...

Ugh. I don't blame the poor guy...I wouldn't want to watch either!

Anvilcloud said...

There is something awesome and fascinating about a predator at work like that. I have seen a hawk fly off with the fish and another grab a bird at our feeder.

Maya's Granny said...

I have also seen a bald eagle fly off with a salmon in his claws.

jan said...

Would it be uncivilized for me to admit that I too would be rooting for the peregrine falcon and would not have missed his ringside seat?