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Sat Jun 22, 2013, 12:33 AM

Peregrine: In her eyes I saw an intelligence, an understanding.

Last edited Sat Jun 22, 2013, 01:11 PM - Edit history (1)

There was an experience I had that I want to share. It happened when I was working as an electrician in a high rise building here in Houston, Texas, the Huntington Estates. We were wiring deceased Enron CEO Ken Lay's apartment back in 1997. He owned the entire floor so it had a beautiful view of the entire Houston skyline from the balconies on every cover of the building. I used to love just standing out there and marveling at the grand view. One overcast day i was standing on the southeast facing balcony and from around the corner of the building came a peregrine falcon soaring right at my eye level. We were at east 400 feet up so the wind gust made it easy for the bird to glide gently and slowly around the corner. She drew closer and closer until she was less than 20 feet from me. When she got right in front of me she turned her head and looked right at me. She hung there for what seems like forever just looking at me. In her eyes i saw an intelligence, an understanding. For those fleeting moments we connected. Then she shifted her wings and turned away from the wind and was gone. I knew she had a nest in the east facing window of the penthouse. I had heard about her from other workers but I never thought i'd be able to get such a good look at her. It was a simple but amazing moment, one that I cherish forever.

Do any of you have a moment like this you might want to share?


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Reply Peregrine: In her eyes I saw an intelligence, an understanding. (Original post)
AllenVanAllen Jun 2013 OP
JayhawkSD Jun 2013 #1
AllenVanAllen Jun 2013 #2
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #3
AllenVanAllen Jun 2013 #4
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #5
TuxedoKat Jun 2013 #7
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #8
TuxedoKat Jun 2013 #9
NM_Birder Jun 2013 #6

Response to AllenVanAllen (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 01:19 AM

1. Peregrine being chased by crows...


hit my second floor living room window a terrible crash. My cat Molly came and got me to come look. Peregrine was on the ground not moving and crows were pecking at it. I'm like, "Oh shit, I can't have that in my yard," so I go down to dispose of dead Peregrine.

Oops, not dead Peregrine. It's lying in its back not moving, but it's looking at me and blinking. Shit again. I don't want to mess with it so I get a laundry basket and put it over the Peregrine to keep the crows off it while I figure out what to do.

About five minutes later Molly is getting agitated at the window so I go look. Thanks for letting me know, Molly, Peregrine is moving under the basket. I go down and remove the basket and Peregrine remains on its back, unmoving, for about fifteen seconds, then flips over and flies off like a freaking rocket onto a branch in the tree across the street. Peregrine sits on the branch for about five mintues, and then flies off, apparently none the worse for wear.

I come inside and Molly is like, "Where did my new friend go?"

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 12:37 PM

2. Wow! I love that Molly the cat informed you about the action in the yard!

It's always tough to know what to do when dealing with wildlife. Do I intervene ? Do I not? In thins case it sounds like you did the right thing. Crows can be hell on the other birds but they're just trying to survive too. We've had a lot of bird strikes over the years but most usually result in death. Only one or two have ended with the bird getting up and flying away.

Thanks for sharing that cool story, JayhawkSD!

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Response to AllenVanAllen (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 07:53 PM

3. Since you say you are in Houston,

keep in mind that there are two wildlife rehabilitation organizations in the city. If you ever find wildlife that is not dead, but it in distress or injured or orphaned, call them.



I volunteered for TWRC, but the people who I worked with split and set up what is now Wildlife Center of Texas.....incredible people doing work that most people would never commit to do.

So now you know what to do if you have a situation.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 09:47 PM

4. Oh thank you Curmudgeoness!

Last edited Sat Jun 22, 2013, 10:54 PM - Edit history (1)

That's great to know. I'll make sure and bookmark those links and share them if I hear about someone in need. And thank for you also for your volunteer work with the animals. They can't say it so I'll do it in their stead. Thank you!

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Response to AllenVanAllen (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 10:38 PM

5. Thanks for appreciating the care that it takes.

Too many people just thought I was nuts. You didn't get out much when you had a house full of baby birds (the birds were my specialty). I am no longer in Texas, and don't rehab any longer, although I do have a relationship with the rehabber in my area now. It amazed me how many animals came through our hands----thousands a year. Incredible.

And you are right, the animals were rarely thankful. But don't think that I didn't get great pleasure from helping them.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

7. Wildlife Rehabbers

I was recently at a veterinarian practice and saw something about wildlife rehabbers. Some rehabbers to whom I've brought injured wildlife were veterinary assistants. So if anyone comes across injured wildlife veterinary practices may be able to help one find rehabbers locally. There have been times when I've found injured turtles or squirrels and was scrambling to find a rehabber.

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Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:24 PM

8. In Houston, we did have vet techs,

but most of us were from all walks of life. It was the training we received through the rehab organizations that made it possible.

I agree that some vets do have information on where to take wildlife, but many don't. My vet always called me or had the people call me. Where I live now, I have given information to my vet on different occasions, and still they don't have that available if someone calls with a problem. Go figure.

My best suggestion is to find out where a rehabber is in your area before you or someone you know needs them. It is such a stressful time once you are confronted with an injured or orphaned animal. Also, most states have game or wildlife commissions, and they can help with the animal or they know where a rehabber is located.

And I would be remiss if I did not suggest that when you do find a local rehabber, that you help them financially with donations. It is very expensive to give care to wild animals, and they are (to my knowledge) always publicly supported volunteers and get nothing from the government.....even though they usually help the state agencies by helping with wildlife calls.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 07:02 PM

9. Right

I had always found the ones I brought animals to, through the internet, so I was surprised to see something about wildlife rehab during a recent trip to the vet. So I just made a mental note of that. I will look that info up again on local rehabbers so I have it readily available. As far as donations, you're right, since they are volunteers, they appreciate help with the costs. The last time I brought someone an injured turtle I did give her a donation.

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Response to AllenVanAllen (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 05:46 PM

6. a different view


I'm currently being re-programmed by my girlfriend to become an "ex bird hunter", and had a feeling one morning that will stay with me.
in the fall she is a regular fixture at the Bosque Del Apache, the Sand Hill Crane arrival is more important to her than Christmas is to children. I on the other hand have vast memories of jump shooting ducks and geese off the ponds in Bernardo, and off the river South of Socorro.

Snow Geese
the Snow Goose and SH Crane arrival in the Bosque is like nothing you can describe, and even though it gives me the shakes to be on ponds before light without a spread of deeks, I go with her because I love her, and she likes sharing the birds her way, not mine.
The snow goose population in fall can be in the tens of thousands, literally packed together in oceans of white honking chaos, waiting for "fly time". Every fall morning the honkers gather on the refuge ponds and burst into the air all at once as if on some secret signal and out into the fields. One morning, the honking was overpowering it was so chaotic, the sheer number of birds on water keep the pond from freezing, but everything else was deathly quiet, and frozen in place.... except for honkers on water and the crane out in the distant fields. The sun had just barely exposed the whole pond, and the 2-3 ACRES of snow geese whipping themselves into a flurry, again anxious for that "fly time". With no warning the chaos on the pond suspended itself and for just a second it was almost silent, there was an electric anticipation you could almost feel. Then BOOM like white tidal wave they peeled off the pond and blocked the sunrise as they came over. The honking was deafening, the lowest ones maybe 40-50 feet above and god only knows how thick the flight really was. The park ranger is the one who told me "that was 20 plus THAOUSAND Snow and Ross geese you just felt" Honestly, there was a change in the air pressure you could FEEL as they came over, never never seen anything like it. One wide circle around the ponds and 99.99% of the geese were gone all at once, stunned the group of 15 to 20 people just starred at each other in disbelief. I stand out in the birding group like a coyote stands out in a chicken coop, but I think they all forgot what I am for just a minute, and I felt what a bird lover feels, and it was truly amazing.

I'll never be fully "re-conditioned" and/or accepted into her group of birder people, but I'll never see the sunrise over a pond the same way again, and I'm pretty confident that I'll spend more mornings looking through binoculars then I will on bead sights.

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