by W. Hansuld
(London, Ontario, Canada)
There are several pairs of Peregrine Falcons based around Fanshawe College, just a short distance from our house.
Occasionally, I've seen them in one of our trees or on the fence, looking for lunch (we have several bird feeders and a bird bath year-round).
The other day, I caught a glimpse of movement in the back yard, and had the rare opportunity to see a Peregrine Falcon having lunch. The Falcon was removing the feathers with astonishing speed and dexterity - they were flying all over the place!
When I moved in with my camera, the bird grabbed his prize and flew off to a nearby tree - out of reach and definitely away from prying eyes.
Examination of the immediate area revealed a Starling's head along with numerous feathers.
It was tempting to revert to ancestral habits and post it on a stick by my suet feeder - the starlings recently discovered the feeder I keep for "Woodpeckers Only" at the front window.
I've had a steady stream of both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers there all winter, enjoying a peanut/suet combination instead of the common feed I keep in the back yard for every one else.
I've resisted temptation, and am still looking for more tactful ways of encouraging them to eat in the back yard.