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half-dutch

falcon chasing bald eagle

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I was down at the Mill Ruins fishing Thursday night and saw this bald eagle being chased all over the dam area by a falcon.

We see bald eagles down there right off down town Minneapolis pretty regularly and normally nothing bothers them. We got a close look at the falcon, one time when it came back through pretty close to where we were fishing, and I am pretty sure it was a peregrine and that is a sizeable bird. The eagle just couldn't shake its tormentor either. The falcon actually struck the eagle a number of times. My fishing partner tried to get a vid on his cell phone but unfortunately that didn't work out. That was quite a spectacle.

We don't normally see the peregrines on the river, although I have seen them hunting a number of other metro areas. Could it be that young of the year are already fledged and out of the nest and one of the parents was protecting one of those? The trees along the river bank are real close to the downtown nests, and that is just where the falcon returned to the one time it flew through.

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It's always neat to see raptors in the metro area, especially the Peregrines. A couple of years ago I was at REI in Bloomington, and when I exited the store I heard the calls of a falcon and looked up. There was a pair or Peregrines battling it out with a pair of Redtail hawks, I lowered my tailgate, sat down and proceeded to watch the show. After a few minutes the falcons drove off the pair of hawks and I finally saw what the hubub was all about. There was a dead pigeon laying on the roof of REI, and on the third attempt one of the falcons finally swooped it up.

The funny thing was, dozens of customers came and went from the store without a clue as to what was happening just above them. If only they had just looked up, they would probably have seen something that they could only dream about seeing during their next camping trip.

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