Date: 3/20/17 5:02 am From: Meredith_Lombard <000000184bf61e22-dmarc-request...> Subject: Lancaster Co., Killdeer and more (a short story)
While bird watching from the Safe Harbor Dam parking lot on Saturday, along with another birder, a killdeer flew past, low, following the access road. An oncoming vehicle forced the small killdeer up and over the shiny new six-foot-high chain link fence that hideously obscures part of the beautiful view of the area.
Having been forced from its original path the killdeer was now over open water, heading west toward the small islands just below the dam. Ever observant , a peregrine falcon that had been perched on a high power pole on the east shoreline, took off after the exposed killdeer. In short order, it closed the gap between itself and its prey. The killdeer, well aware of the approaching falcon, took evasive action. It dropped low, evading the falcon's first thrust, and swung back toward land, trying to gain some altitude.
The falcon, having missed the first time, took a high arc, turned, and came sweeping down toward the little killdeer. Once more the killdeer evaded the falcon with a swift turn and another drop in altitude. On the third dive, the killdeer's only option for evading its captor was to plunge into the river. A Peregrine can pluck its prey from the river so the killdeer was not yet safe, but it was paddling as fast as it could toward land.
While all of this was going on, a bald eagle was also watching the action, and was flying toward the pair from the west. As the falcon rose high, lining up a dive to make an attempt at plucking the killdeer from the river, the bald eagle flew in low below the falcon. The falcon now had a new target and swooped the eagle. But it was to no avail. The eagle, never missing a wingbeat, came in low and made a two-footed grab on the luckless little bird. He carried his snack off into the nearby tree line and the peregrine was without a hearty dinner.