Pigeon Patrol HawkA BRISTOL photographer has taken a series of striking pictures showing peregrine falcons hunting pigeons in the heart of the city.

Sam Hobson, 34, has captured a collection of pictures showing the birds snatching the pigeons above Bristol’s skyline, according to the Daily Mail.

Mr Hobson said it was ‘amazing’ to capture the birds hunting above his city.

In Britain, they are usually spotted in the skies above mountain ranges and other remote spaces.

Mr Hobson said: ‘There is something amazing about seeing one of the world’s fastest animals perched on a building you see every day,’ he said. ‘There are plenty of tall buildings in cities for the birds to perch on.’

Mr Hobson, who has been tracking and photographing urban falcons in Bristol for the past two years, said the birds had been attracted to the cities because of their large number of pigeons and other migratory birds.

‘I have seen falcons doing things they don’t do in the countryside,’ he said. ‘For example, I witnessed them hunting at night.

‘The falcons were using the city lights to spot other birds and then swooping on them.

‘We are used to seeing nocturnal hunting behavior in owls, but not peregrines.

‘They were hunting different birds as well, not just pigeons. They preyed on a lot of migratory birds.’

He added that March was a good month for photographing the birds – saying: ‘We are coming up to the time when falcons lay their first eggs of the year.

‘Males are particularly territorial during this time, and attack other birds like seagulls which come anywhere near their nests.

‘A couple of years ago two falcons in Bristol only managed to lay one egg, and a seagull knocked it into the floating harbour. Some workmen managed to fish it out with an umbrella, and it was saved.’

Mr Hobson told the Mail, he had captured the falcons from vantage points on high buildings – while carefully observing their nesting habits to determine where they will appear.

‘I stood on top of a car park all day, waiting for something to happen,’ he said.

‘From the pictures you would think these are really active birds, but often I sit there watching them perched on a ledge, digesting their food all day.’

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