Peregrine watching in Wichita

News came this week of the successful hatching of some peregrine falcons in downtown Topeka. As they have in the past the legendary Westar Energy Green Team has been offering the birds great support and sharing it all with the public via live camera views taken of the nest.

Click here to view the nesting birds.

Though facilities have been placed to encourage peregrines to nest in downtown Wichita we’ve yet to be blessed with our own hatchlings. Peregrines nest on high-rise buildings in several major cities, using the tall building as substitutes for the tall cliffs where they traditionally nest.

But we do get some pretty good peregrine watching opportunities from time to time.

My first view of a Kansas peregrine didn’t last as long as it took to type this sentence – but it was sure impressive.

I was standing at a window in the newsroom, staring outside and wishing I wasn’t surrounded by so much concrete and metal when a flock of pigeons slowly flew by only a few yards from the glass.

From above and behind the building another pigeon dove, splitting the flying flock in a panic, a gray blur gaining air quickly on its tail. The pigeon and following peregrine dove out of my sight quickly but I was left stunned at the predator’s speed and manuverability.

Several times since I’ve seen peregrines sitting atop a downtown building or zipping through the skies looking for dinner.

Heading to lunch one day some co-workers were walking down an alley in Old Town when a silver streak came to ground a few yards away. It was a peregrine, clutching a pigeon it had just taken from the air. The peregrine seemed totally unimpressed by my friends passing only a few yards away.

My friends returned to the newsroom very impressed and appreciative of one of Mother Nature’s top avian predators.