Raptors in urban spaces

I didn’t know until recently that there were still predatory birds in the Katipunan area.
A friend of mine, Victoria V., went on a bird walk and saw a peregrine falcon in Ateneo.

raptor by victoria
V tells me this lady’s a regular. Hangs out with her mate at the old alma mater and leaves during the summer.

There have been sightings of peregrines even in Makati, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a wooded area like Katipunan will have them. Given the amount of construction that’s been going on in that area though, loss of habitat’s a factor to consider.

How far is Novaliches and La Mesa/Ipo watershed? That’s the nearest place I can think of where raptors could possibly find shelter and food. It’s fairly protected, so that means no hunting or poaching. Fruit-bearing trees drop their fruits and those are left on the ground either to rot and seed the soil, or to be taken up by animals in the area.

Then again, a little research tells me that peregrines are “wanderers” and “urban dwellers” as well, feasting on pigeons (and reptiles, and small mammals) if they’re in the city. Note that the falcon is perched on scaffolding; apparently, they also nest in tall buildings if they’re in the city.

The Philippines gets its fair share of peregrines, based on this global map, but it’s kind of awesome to hear of people who “stumble upon” such a pretty little thing (or to be the person to actually do so). Just something to shake us out of our everyday stupor, realize that we live with beautiful birds, appreciate them, and hopefully not seek to capture or collect them.

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