Thursday, October 08, 2009


We've got a fairly active pigeon population around our high school. We're about as urban as you can get in Alexandria, situated between the Garden District and city park.

Pigeons attract raptors, and I've often got a hawk or two circling the school. It keeps the pigeons honest. Today I walked out under the oaks and spotted a bird on the limb over my head. It waited until I got my camera from the truck and let me snap a couple of pictures.

The bird is just a little larger than a pigeon and while it was sitting on that limb, the squirrels were noticeably absent. I believe it to be a juvenile red-tailed hawk. He didn't seem bothered to have me taking photos and when the bell rang a few minutes later to announce the end of the school day, he was still sitting on that limb.

I thought it was cool.


Rich Jordan said...

A friend here in the chi-town suburbs has been feeding the squirrels, chipmunks, kitties, bluejays, etc for years. A few years ago she realized she was also feeding a kestrel... not directly, mind you, but feeding it nonetheless.

She says its a beautiful bird but she wishes it would leave; she's tired of finding remains of her squirrels and chippies.

Windy Wilson said...

I saw one like that but with darker feathers years ago in Santa Monica. It stood on a limb almost exactly like that falcon in "The Maltese Falcon", all chesty with breast thrust out and shoulders up.

Urban areas are surprisingly popular with falcons and hawks. Something about all those pigeons getting fat in the parks . . .

El Capitan said...

Along Hempstead Hwy in Houston there's a stretch of old power poles with the glass insulators. They're not used except by the local bird population. While waiting for a stoplight, I noticed a large redtailed hawk perched on the crossbar right next to the pole, sitting perfectly still.

Along flaps this fat old pigeon, who alights right next to the hawk. I've never seen a bird do a double-take before, but I laughed myself silly as that pigeon turned himself inside out in an effort to fall off that pole and beat a hasty retreat!