[Tweeters] Feral vs. Wild Rock Pigeons

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Wed Feb 23 09:18:31 PST 2022

My first sighting of a Peregrine Falcon ever was of one eating a rock pigeon on top of a light pole in front of my house in Seattle.

Teresa Michelsen

From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Dennis Paulson
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 9:10 AM
To: TWEETERS tweeters <Tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Feral vs. Wild Rock Pigeons

I will add to that that Cooper’s Hawks take pigeons regularly. I photographed one eating a Rock Pigeon at Magnuson Park in Seattle some years ago, and I have actually seen 5 Band-tailed Pigeons killed by Cooper’s Hawks in our yard in the 30 years we have lived here. All but one of the hawks were females, but a male took one by causing it to fly into a window, which stunned it enough for the hawk to capture and kill it. Male Cooper’s Hawks are the same weight as Band-tailed Pigeons, females considerably larger.

Dennis Paulson

On Feb 20, 2022, at 6:31 PM, LMarkoff <canyoneagle at mycci.net<mailto:canyoneagle at mycci.net>> wrote:

Bob, regarding your p.s. about the possibility of the Prairie Falcon that you saw taking a Rock Pigeon, I would say that there is a good chance that it could. When I was visiting the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, CO, in February, 2000, I saw a Prairie Falcon hunting the Rock Pigeons that were on the cliffs. I didn’t see it catch one, but it sure was trying.

And for a comparison, a Cooper’s Hawk is smaller than a Prairie Falcon. When I lived in Virginia I had a good number of hawks winter in my yard. One time a Cooper’s Hawk took a Rock Dove off my feeder, and then struggling, flew with it to the bottom of the hill that was my back yard. There on the ground the Coop and the Rock Dove wrestled, desperately. It was a wild, lengthy tussle, but in the end the Coop won. The Coop then ate on the Dove until full, so full that the Coop could hardly move. Eventually it managed to hop up on the nearby fence. There it sat for a few hours before eventually flying away. So if an overachieving Coop can take a Rock Dove, I would guess that a Prairie Falcon could too.

Lori Markoff
Citrus Heights, CA

From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu<mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Robert O'Brien
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2022 4:45 PM
To: Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net<mailto:dennispaulson at comcast.net>>
Cc: TWEETERS tweeters <Tweeters at u.washington.edu<mailto:Tweeters at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Feral vs. Wild Rock Pigeons

And then here is a flock I photographed a few years ago at the remote Fort Rock in Lake County OR. (The ~15,000 year old sandals were found near here).
All these images appear mostly the 'blue form' with quite a bit of variation. Seems like Cornell is waiting for the regression, if it occurs at all, to be completel

Bob OBrien Portland
PS As to my Rock Pigeon photos, the third is a Prairie Falcon in attendance at the 'Fort'. Looks pretty tiny to take down a Rock Pigeon, but who knows?

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