Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Photographer's Rare Encounter With Roosevelt Island Falcon Deep In Thought On East River Seawall Railing And Perched High Above

Peter Blumen shares these photos and reports on his encounter with a Roosevelt Island Falcon:

I was walking along the east side of Roosevelt Island Sunday and I mistook him for a wooden scarecrow, which we have in California. He was still and sitting atop the RIOC Bus Depot. His stillness, which was probably a hunting tactic, and being a rare site, confused me and I thought he was not real. How could he be a falcon here, an irrational mix. A few steps closer and he twitched and then I had to abandon that premise. He was real and far from home. On top of the bus depot he was safe but still as I got closer he flew off and along the fence that borders the island.

A minute later, I came upon him again and my camera was already out.

I walked quietly and slowly towards him, all the while taking pictures.

And when I stopped about 5 feet away, he continued to look at me, assessing me. I had interrupted his thoughts, he was staring out to the sun and some snapshot hound was pestering him. He was not fond of me and I was apprehensive of him. He looked smaller with his wings folded in, the size of a 1 year old child. At some point he realized there would be no peace with me nearby and even though I had stopped approaching, he had enough of my nuisance, looked upstream for a more secure location, spread to his full 6 foot width,

seeming to fall off his perch until he caught wind, and climbed about 20 feet in a moment.

I saw him once more, but not from so close a distance and he looked down on me, knowing he had the upper hand. I knew I would never be that close again. I wasn’t a threat to him at his new post,

the tip of the boat lowering device at the fire department station. So I took a few more pictures which the reader sees here. A rare encounter indeed.
Looks like Cornell Tech has an interest in birds too.
Perhaps when their Roosevelt Island campus opens in 2017, they can study our birds too.

UPDATE 11/18 - Marco Gentile shares these pictures of what may be the same falcon

hanging out on his Roosevelt Island balcony and adds:
we are very grateful she is keeping the pigeons away lol.