Capp Raptor

I’m no birder, but I’d wager that this duck hawk (and apparent Capp Street resident) is officially badass. Glenn Nevill has the story, and a bunch more pictures — many of them CLOSEUPS — right here. He also vows to keep a watchful eye on the beast, so stay tuned for further developments.

15 Responses to “Capp Raptor”

  1. ChrisisGross says:

    Glenn’s i.d. is dead it is indeed a peregrine falcon. There are a couple of pairs in the city and they do pretty well in an urban environment. The tall buildings are similar to the rocky outcroppings that they prefer and the slow, dumb pigeons make an easy meal for them.

  2. ChrisisGross says:

    First sentence should have read dead on, like how the pigeons are dead on impact after being hit by the falcon at 80+m.p.h.

  3. gregory says:

    that is “cappy” the peregrine, a long time capp street resident. especially this time of year, you’ll notices a lot of dismembered pigeon parts on the sidewalk next to that church… before I was introduced to Cappy, I used to wonder what they were up to in there…

  4. chalkman says:

    we’ve got one that hangs out at our house by 18th and Dolores, I’ve gone outside and seen it perched on my deck rail. It totally removed our pigeon problem, while the doves and finches survive.

  5. Allan Hough says:

    Wait, how does that chalk up? Aren’t pigeons just a kind of dove? Or are proper doves quicker or something and pigeons are inbred or something?

  6. chrisisgross says:

    Yep the pigeon is a dove and since there are so many more of them than the other doves or finches they get picked off a lot. I would bet that the peregrine is feasting on them in equal proportions based on number(say 80/15/5) or whoever is slowest and tastiest at the time.

  7. Allan Hough says:

    Anybody wanna start a band called Slowest and Tastiest with me? Or, like, a blog about pigeons?

  8. gnevill says:

    I’ve been able to get more shots of the peregrine. Both legs are free of bands.

  9. Allan Hough says:

    Free as a bird!

    So, again, I’m new at this stuff. How rare is it to find an unbanded peregrine?

  10. zinzin says:

    ha. fun game…

    Slowest and Tastiest sounds like an emo band.

    Pigeon Problem sounds punk.

    Free of Bands (or Unbanded Peregrine) sounds art improv.

  11. fredly says:

    There’s also an amazing hawk that hangs out on the New Mission Theater sign.

  12. Andrew says:

    I live at 19th and Dolores and have also seen the peregrin on my deck eating mice ect… I think he deserves a name too.

  13. johnny0 says:

    Doves are just pigeons with good PR.

  14. gnevill says:

    It is far more common to see un-banded peregrines these days. They were facing extinction back in the 1960′s from DDT poisoning, and it took 20 years of captive breeding and a lot of hard work to bring them back. Thirty years ago, all of the captive bred birds were banded before being released. Now only the ones that are caught during hawk watch, or nest in man-made structures like buildings or bridges get banded. The ones that nest on building sometimes have web cams that are on during the spring mating season. They develop a following of thousands worldwide that watch as the eggs are laid, and hatched and the young grow up. So just before they grow large enough to fly, biologists band the chicks for easy identification. Then watchers like myself can report on their movements. So by seeing that a bird has a band, we can know where it was born, and how old it is.

    The bird on Capp Street looks like the one from the last few years, but it has no band and without one, it can be hard to distinguish it from the other peregrines out there.

    If you see a raptor eating mice, it is most likely a Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawk, or possibly a Red-tailed Hawk like the one fredly shows on his flickr page.

    I posted a blog page in Jan, 2007 comparing the three types of raptors. Check it out here:

    If that link is too long, then use this one.

    Once you compare the plumage and shape of the tail vs. wing length, you will be able to see the difference between the falcon and the hawks.

    Peregrines almost always hunt in the air, so their diet is mostly birds, but sometimes they eat bats and during migration could go after flying insects.

    Today passing by the church I heard the falcon calling out. This evening passing the church I saw a Coot head on the sidewalk, so I know it most likely has been over to the bay to catch lunch.

    Regards to all,

  15. zinzin says:

    what a great post. thanks Glenn.

    (“coot head”, btw).

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