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Rare visiting falcon swoops over city

A peregrine falcon sighted yesterday over East Broadway outside Hamilton (Photograph by Scott Neil)

One of the world’s widest ranging predatory birds has stopped off in Bermuda on a winter vacation.

The peregrine falcon was spotted yesterday as it made a pass over East Broadway yesterday on the way into Hamilton.

David Wingate, a former Government conservation officer, said yesterday that peregrine falcons had been spending the winters in Bermuda more often in recent years.

Mr Wingate said: “There is at least one, which has ranged all over Bermuda – this morning it was reported at the airport, which is a favourite hunting ground because they like to catch birds in flight.

“I have also seen it from the East Broadway roundabout, which is a dangerous place for a birdwatcher because you don’t want to take your eyes off it.

“It was over the hospital, coming towards Crow Lane.”

Mr Wingate said that the city and the surrounding areas provided a good source of food for the hawks.

He added: “There are a lot of pigeons in Hamilton and its environs, so I’m sure that’s why it is there.

“That could be why they have begun overwintering in Bermuda more, because the pigeon population has increased.”

Mr Wingate said the bird could have been carried to Bermuda by the recent storms that swept the island from the East Coast of the US.

But the bird is unlikely to be Milly, a tagged peregrine found weakened and ill in 2019 and nursed back to health at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo.

Milly, seen across the island last year, has since flown elsewhere.

Peregrines, which are not a common sight in Bermuda, are known to have exceeded 200mph in a hunting dive.

The photograph of the latest arrival appears to show a missing wing feather, which Mr Wingate said could have been a minor injury sustained during a strike on prey.

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Published February 08, 2021 at 2:56 pm (Updated February 08, 2021 at 2:56 pm)

Rare visiting falcon swoops over city

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