Peter Reavy

Bird of prey in Botanic Gardens

Posted in Uncategorized by Peter Reavy on March 1, 2010

I was passing the end of the Tropical Ravine building when I overheard one park-keeper saying to another, “He’ll not let him get away now”. I walked further and along the railing beside the large area of grass. I passed two more people staring across the grass looking at something. Going against my normal habits of ignoring my surroundings, I looked back and across and saw what appeared to be one pigeon sitting on top of another, dead, pigeon. As I continued to stare, I realised that it was in fact a bird of prey pecking at a kill. The light was bright and I continued to squint and stare at the aggressor. It was brown with long tail-feathers. Presumably some sort of hawk? It was repeatedly plucking the feathers from its victim. However, the “hawk” seemed to grow more concerned at the people who were looking at it, looking up and left and right. And suddenly, the “dead” bird sprang to panicked life and flew right over my head, to my great surprise, causing me to flinch and duck, and with the “hawk” right behind. The two birds crashed into a tall bush just behind me. I could no longer follow what was happening and felt that I had somehow contributed to the pigeon’s attempted escape, so it was time to go.

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