He or she who dares wins

  TopCat® 18:16 03 Nov 2008

No, not the SAS but one of Nature's own beautiful creatures.

I was sat out in my garden this sunny lunchtime making a mental note of the outside chores which needed doing next year and daring more leaves to fall in the fishpond. There was plenty of activity from my resident birds as they fed at the covered tables, or preened themselves in the trees. What happened next was a sight to behold.

I have a tall eucalyptus evergreen tree in one corner of the garden and several of my collared doves were sat up in it. Suddenly the peace was shattered by a loud thud and a hasty scattering of the birds from that tree. Next thing, a young peregrine falcon dropped to the ground with a dove held firm in one claw. It tried to fly away with its prey but it was too heavy for him, or her. My first, split second instinct was to try to save the dove, and I made a move towards the pair. The falcon then hopped behind the bushes still holding on to its dinner. I left it to it.

About an hour later I took a look behind the bushes. There was a neat circle of feathers on the ground and the neatly plucked carcase lay in the middle, minus its head. No sign of the dove's wings or head anywhere, or of the falcon. I placed the carcass high up my banked hedgerow in full view to the sky, just in case the falcon was nervous to be on the ground. Checking this evening just before dusk, I found it was gone.

I've had other instances of the doves being attacked this year and with a similar circle of feathers left on the ground. I've always suspected cats as the main culprits before but now, indirectly as it may be, I seem to be feeding birds of prey too. A lovely looking bird that was a real delight and pleasure to see, doing what comes naturally. I don't think the doves would agree with me on that though, do you? :o) TC.

  josie mayhem 18:31 03 Nov 2008

I'ved lived in my house for 8 years, surrounding by school fieds and church at the edge of town...

We do have a redident peregrin falcon, I've seen him catch his dinner only once, but have seen the remains of his dinning many a time...

We have a couple of owls as well, but this years there has been many vistors visiting the garden that I've never seen before...

We now have a pair of cockoo's that spend most of there time driving us nuts with the noise they make...

And other birds that I do not regconise what they are... Why they are coming now I don't know because we do nothing different in feeding the birds they just turned up

  peter99co 19:29 03 Nov 2008

Looks like a great chance for a photo if you can be patient. Keep a camera ready for action?

  laurie53 20:06 03 Nov 2008

Fastest living creature in the world in the "stoop" (dive to take prey in flight).

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