The Internet Can Solve Anything


Your comments about the mystery bird on our deck made me laugh and clap my hands. I just hooted. And not because there was an owl outside. Because I think if I learned anything from this whole experience, I learned that THE BIRD WAS NOT AN OWL.

Based on the the links y’all left in the comments, I do think we were dealing with some sort of peregrine falcon, aka the “duck hawk.” And it makes total sense, because about three weeks ago we put a squirrel feeder on our deck. The squirrel feeder has been a source of endless entertainment for us (I had no idea that squirrels were so limber! or that they loved corn!), and it has also attracted a fair share of chipmunks. The chipmunks don’t try to get food from the feeder; they just hide behind flower pots and wait for the squirrels to drop something.

ANYWAY, the bird on the deck looked almost identical to a picture of a juvenile peregrine falcon. I guess that maybe the falcon was doing a test run from the nest, or maybe he/she was after a chipmunk. Regardless, about thirty minutes after I posted the picture, the falcon plunged off of our deck, and there was a great deal of high-pitched squawking afterwards (one less chipmunk in the neighborhood, maybe?). But what really cracked me up was that as soon as the falcon flew away, a squirrel popped his head out from behind the closest tree, and his eyes were like saucers. I think he may have sighed.

And here’s what fascinated me more than anything else: did y’all know that the peregrine falcon is THE FASTEST ANIMAL ON EARTH? That it can fly at speeds up to 200 miles per hour?

I just had no idea. It’s like my whole backyard is a classroom, and I’ve been skipping school for years.

And quite frankly if I had known that the fastest animal on earth was going to show up on our deck on a random Tuesday morning, I would have, at the very least, offered him some Gatorade and perhaps even an energy bar of some sort.

While wearing a flower pot on my head, of course. Not to mention protective arm gear.

Edited to add: here’s a bit of news that has absolutely nothing to do with really fast birds: I posted my final Tropicana Juicy Rewards post yesterday, and if you’d like to enter to win a $50 Visa gift card courtesy of BlogHer, just click on over.

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  1. I love the squirrel checking to see if the coast is clear. It’s kind of always like wild kingdom in our backyard so when my nephews were here at Thanksgiving they were sure they’d see something-anything. But not a single critter showed up. About an hour after they pulled out of the driveway 8 turkeys plunked down. I told hubs they knew Thanksgiving was over and it was safe to come out.

    Glad your mystery has been solved.

  2. This post made me giggle.

    It’s like my whole backyard is a classroom, and I’ve been skipping school for years.

  3. I think you did offer him/her an “energy bar”… in the form of small wildlife creature in your backyard. :)

  4. Yay for the internet. How did we ever learn anything without it? Encyclopedias sit in my hall closet mostly unused. Maybe I should just chunk them? Nah. My youngest still likes to get out the B volume every now and then and look at the bears…even if it is from 1974 and mostly black and white. F for flags and D for dogs are popular, too.

  5. Thanks for making me smile this morning! I had to go back and read the comments from yesterday and they made me hoot, too. :) Have a great day!

    P.S. Did you want to “guard and protect” that bird’s heart?

  6. Ditto to Rena! And I wanted to offer some informative comments myself when I read this yesterday, but I was clueless. However, it looks like you did fine with the knowledge from others. Maybe Alex and his pals will have a summer school wildlife observation class through the comfort of your window! :)

  7. Christy says:

    oh, boo, you make me laugh!

  8. I’m so glad I read this because I needed a good giggle. Most of what could go wrong before 8:30 DID, so this was great.

  9. this made me laugh, too!

    even thought i despise birds.

  10. haha, you are hilarious!!
    What would the neighbors think if they looked over and saw you wearing a flower pot over your head and an oven mitt trying to force feed a baby falcon an energy bar??! haha

  11. We saw one of those boogers dive bomb a squirrel up at Oak Mtn one time… and then eat it. It was intriguing yet utterly horrifying at the same time. ~shudder~

  12. BooMama, I just love your love for life and the unexpected joys of random birds found in the backyard classroom. Though I don’t know you, you are a joy to me.

  13. And now you are the teacher and we are your students–who knew? 200 mph? I am glad with my, um…grace, that I do not fly that fast or at all for that matter. I’d totally be a dead bird.

    Also? I have a wager that God is going to send many more delights in your back yard, because you are paying attention to them! :) I LOVE IT!

  14. You are TOO funny.
    Actually I think your very lucky to have witnessed this magnificent bird. They are very rare and seeing one so close up is a treasure indeed.
    But as one person commented yesterday…KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! They’re very strong birds….I dont want to scare you further.

  15. I never know what I’m going to learn when I visit here. :>)

  16. Safety first, Boomama! Always!
    What a cool classroom/backyard you have!
    Awesome! :)

  17. So did Matthew Broderick show up in your backyard, too?

    : )

  18. Katherine says:

    I think a metal pot was what “Grandpa” was wearing to go get the mail – that you think to wear a flowerpot on your head is all the more funny!! If you had a cat, it would lovingly bring chipmunks to your back door, rolled over to the “good” side!!

  19. we had a hawk in our backyard for a while a year back. put up hummingbird feeders, hummingbirds are endlessly entertaining. they are very territorial.

  20. If you ever make it over here to the Left Coast, you should go to Morro Bay and see the peregrine falcons that nest on Morro Rock. It is quite a site to see the mama birds protecting their nests or a hunting peregrine falcon dive-bombing (literally) a sea gull in midair!

    They are amazing creatures!

  21. Okay, Sophie – can I please brag about my son??? He walked in the computer room and saw your bird picture (btw, the story was hilarious!) and he said, “Oh, a peregrine falcon”. Far be it from me to ever brag about my 12yo homeschooled boy, especially since I’m ornithology-deficient too. :)

  22. Since the squirrel feeder has been mentioned multiple times, please let us know what kind you got. Maybe a picture? Why do you like it so much? Did they used to get onto your bird feeder??? :)

  23. Bernadette says:

    In a book series by Jeffery Deaver with Lincoln Rhyme as the main character there is a pair of falcons that nest on his window ledge in New York