Date: 7/1/18 10:50 pm From: Dave Leibert <xdave...> Subject: More Peregrine viewing. Bethlehem, Northampton county
I was able to spend some time watching the fledgling peregrine falcons over in Bethlehem again last week.
These birds don't stay around forever so I figured I would give it another go. As it turns out they are very cooperative when it comes to casual viewing from the comfort of your car.
From the roof of the parking garage I could see one of the young peregrines sitting on the top of the power line tower platform. What was unusual, and it is something I haven't seen before, was that a pigeon was sitting a few feet away from it on the same platform.
Another young peregrine flew up and landed close to the pigeon. The peregrine kind of hopped over to it and the pigeon maintained a distance from the falcon but was still sitting on the tower platform. Perhaps the pigeon was able sense the young falcons don't yet have the killer instinct of the parents.
As I watched one of the peregrines would fly over to a tall power pole with only one perch and the top, and then the other would fly over to the perch and claim it from the other. Then the displaced bird would fly back to the powerline tower where the pigeon was sitting. Eventually both peregrines were sitting with the pigeon and the pigeon decided it was time to find another place to hang out.
The pigeon jumped off of the platform and flew away in a hurry towards the mountain. One and then the second peregrine followed in level pursuit of the pigeon. They were all flying as fast in the direction of South mountain. Over the course of a few hundreds yards it looked like the peregrines closed the interval from about 40 feet down to about 10 feet.
From my position and without using binocs it looked the the pigeon banked left and headed towards some buildings. That is the last I saw of any of them in this encounter.
I plan to look for them again this week as soon as the heat subsides a little. It was amazing to see their progress in flying over the last few weeks as they now seem like strong and pretty confident flyers. They just have to learn to capture prey now instead of looking at it as a flying game.