Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peregrine Falcons Attacked Me!

OK, that's admittedly a bit of hyperbole. While on the hike described in the post below, I was buzzed many times by a pair of peregrine falcons. I'm glad they weren't really trying to attack me because it took me forever to figure out what was happening. I was happily trying to follow an animal use trail to reach the bottom of that long steep sandstone incline when I heard it. Whoooosh! Sounded odd, but I ignored it. Then again ... whoooosh! Sort of like the sound you get when you swing an object around at the end of a long string - but much much louder and longer. Then it happened a third time.

By this time I was seriously wondering what this was. I suspected that maybe it was being made by the rim of my hat rubbing against my backpack (since that sometimes makes odd sounds), and so I was attempting to reproduce it by moving my head side to side while tipping it back. Then it happened. It was unmistakable. The bird zoomed right over my head. Sheesh! I might have said something a bit more crude at the time. There were two of them. And they were close enough, as was that last pass, that I could clearly see the breast feather patterns and head shapes and wing shapes that told me they were peregrines. Amazing. Them birds can sure fly fast. I got my camera out, and this time I was hoping to be buzzed again.

Then I noticed that they had found something else to pester. They were chasing a small bird in the air above the canyon. Amazing. Sorry the photos are so poor. They didn't bother me any more after that.

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