The Parekeet and The Falcon!

Old Oct 21st, 2007, 02:46 PM
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The Parekeet and The Falcon!

Tail of a Sunday Afternoon!

There I was sitting and (catching up) reading in Gracie Mansion Park on the banks of the East River enjoying another beautiful early fall afternoon. I was with a few friends and I noticed in the grass tiny birds... like baby birds. Don't ask me the species, in NYC they're all shades of brown... maybe sparrows of some sort. Okay you ask, what's the big deal?

Nothing much and I went back to reading, but in my mind the thought "if this was Africa, a larger predator bird could make an appetizer of those little ones."

About an hour later some color catches my eye, only to see this lovely blue winged parakeet. Wow! That's gotta be one that got away. Out of its cage, thru an open window and off to see what life was like in the big city. As we're wondering about this lovely thing, out of nowhere a falcon sweeps past us. Yup! Well, sure we've got lots of falcons here - remember Red Tail and his brood! Scared the b'jesus out of us, because none of us had ever seen a falcon in this park. But that doesn't mean they're not in residence here and the high buildings nearby.

My mind went back to my earlier thought which I was certain was about to happen. Only one of us had a container into which to put this parakeet if we would only grab it and get it to the Animal Hospital or ASPCA. Then all of a sudden this little thing is sitting at my feet, but none of us knew how to grab it (we're not bird people), but attempted offering our fingers in hopes it would take hold and then into the container.

No such luck, and next we know it's flown onto a tree branch at the same time the falcon flies out of nowhere again. Lucky fellow, made it to the tree about one-foot above us and was pretty much hidden... for how long? Well, New Yorkers being New Yorkers, before we knew it there was a group of onlookers trying to aid us in our attempt to protect this beauty.

Shake the branch... it doesn't move. Shake again, still doesn't move; a bit more and off it goes with grown men navigating thru bushes trying to find it. No luck!

Well folks, we left the park sad and upset and here it is a few hours latter and I'm sure it's.......... RIP pretty parakeet!

sandi is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2007, 04:36 PM
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A great tale, Sandi! It reminds me of a few months ago when I was walking down the street near one of my client's offices in the hills of Southern California. I saw a hawk sitting on top of a lightpost. As I approached, it suddenly swooped down into the groundcover plantings below. The hawk began struggling with something that was squealing and thrashing around. Finally, the hawk flew off with the biggest rat I've ever seen! Nothing like a "game drive" on your lunch hour!
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Sometimes I look out my window at work and there, from the 20th floor, I see...beautiful, large, graceful hawks.

A great mini vacation.

Thanks for your story, Sandi. And RIP, parakeet.
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Great story Sandi! Thanks for sharing your wonderful afternoon!
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 07:32 PM
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What a great episode to observe, there's not much more spectacular than watching the fastest animal in the world (Peregrine falcon) as it hunts.

I had my own escaped bird yesterday but he was the raptor. A red-tailed hawk flew out of some high grass about 10 feet from me and at first I thought he was holding a snake but then realized it was a leather strap hanging down from its leg. Looks like a falconer must have had him out for a training run and he decided freedom was a better choice. I gave him a minute to see if he would come to my hand so I could remove the symbol of bondage but he wasn't that domesticated yet and will do fine on his own despite the leather adornment. Falconers regularly catch wild red-tails, train them and after a year or two they release them back to the wild.
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