New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park is home to many birds. I have published articles about its geese (see first, second, and third) and its seafaring mourning doves. Waiting to be featured in these pages are its pigeons, ducks, seagulls, sparrows, starlings, and various songbirds. I would have thought that Brooklyn Bridge Park was the perfect place for all of our feathered friends until I saw a large number of our smaller feathered friends frantically flying away from Pier 2 of the Park with a much larger bird following from behind. That bird, my friends, was a bird of prey. It was big. I believe it was a falcon.
Whatever it is, the other birds were not at all fans of it. It stood perched high up on a tall light stanchion for several minutes. While the falcon was surveying its vast domain, a small little bird which likely did not see the raptor flew next to it. This drew a reaction from the large carnivorous bird, causing the little songbird to fly rapidly away.
After taking a few pictures of the falcon with my middling phone camera, none of which came out well, I proceeded to walk the rest of the park. Little did I think that I would have another falcon photo-op. However, my paths crossed with our striking friend again on Pier 4.
Allow me to note that his or her arrival was preceded by some amount of commotion from the birds in the area.
Once again, the falcon sat atop a light pole and surveyed, not showing much inclination toward action or generalized gratuitous bird-on-bird violence. He was a bit closer to me on this pier, so I took the chance to try to capture a couple of closer shots of the falcon.
This was only the second time I had seen a falcon since my 2019 encounter on the Queensboro Bridge, which I documented in these pages. The next encounter was on a sidewalk in Brooklyn Heights. I did not capture a photo, but even if I had been so unlucky, the falcon had a poor sparrow in its talons, so it would not have been amenable to publication on a family-friendly website. The most recent falcon, I must note, was quite a bit bigger than the Brooklyn Heights falcon I saw in 2020 or 2021.
We are a bird-friendly publication and we do not discriminate between birds. With that being said, I wish all the kind and gentle birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park luck. I thought I had seen the most aggressive of birds last autumn when crows visited the Marina and began picking fights with the local geese. This falcon might be a bigger problem for the non-bird-eating bird-life in the area, however.
(See my companion article featuring a few Game Boy Camera photographs of the falcon.)