[va-richmond-general] Purple Martins at 17th Street (continued)

  • From: s.ridd@xxxxxxx
  • To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 18:21:29 +0000

Sunday, July 13th: Two people got up at 5:19 am and drove to 17th Street to see the Purple Martins fly out of the trees. The birds proceeded in "patches" or groups flying south.
Sunday evening: Seven people showed up in spite of the cloud cover. No Peregrines. The Red-tailed Hawk reappeared for a short time  and left, before the Martins flew into the trees. The definite spiral action of the birds from Friday night was not observed either tonight or Saturday night.
Saturday, July 12, 2008: About twenty people watched as two Peregrine Falcons were perched atop the windows of the Monroe building like bookends. One falcon flew towards a Purple Martin and turned back to the building. The Red-tailed Hawk also reappeared and took two birds easting one in front of us. Mike Wilson estimated that 3,900 Purple Martins flew into the trees on this evening. Our thanks to Arun Bose for his sharp observations of the falcons. And thanks to all who came!
(July 6)Last Sunday evening, we watch about 1,000 Purple Martins fly into the 20 Bradford Pear trees. A red-tailed hawk had been waiting for them nearby. It flew into the trees, grabbed a Purple Martin and flew to the telephone pole in front of us and proceeded to eat the Purple Martin.
When the hawk finished off the bird, it flew back into the trees and tried for another Purple Martin. It missed and then perched on a nearby building. The red-tailed hawk flew away after a dog barked at it.

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