Fourth Falcon Attack!

So, I wasn’t going to blog a word about this visit to St. Louis, with the Journal being about the Chesapeake and all. In fact, I’ve saved up and pre-posted a bunch of things to cover the time while I’m on this trip, and away from the Chesapeake for a week.

But then, yesterday, we went for a walk on the Chain Of Rocks Bridge – part of the original Routh 66, one of the first crossings of the Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis. During our 22 years in St. Louis, we walked this bridge – spanning a mile across the river, and ending high in the treetops of Illinois – hundreds, maybe a thousand times. Serious.

In 2007, on a springtime bridge walk, a Peregrine Falcon (who must have had a nest on the middle span of the bridge) – swooped down out of nowhere and talons out, grabbed some of Jesse’s fur. We freaked out and ran – “Run, Jesse! Run!” Kevin grabbed tiny Zip who was a young pup at the time and we ran till we ran out of breath. A few days later (yes, dumb) the same thing happened again. Another time, we saw a guy walking off the bridge with blood running down his face. He had a dog with him and a harrowing story about his attack.

The next spring, our nieces were visiting from Pennsylvania, and we walked the bridge. Wondering if it was baby-falcon time, we took umbrellas with us. Yup, happened AGAIN! It did feel safer to have an umbrella over your head, rather than simply pulling your shirt up, elbows exposed to the angry bird. It seems that maybe it’s dogs that threaten the falcons.

Then yesterday, we visited friends up near the bridge, in our old neighborhood on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, and Kevin even wondered out loud……”are those falcons still up here?” The answer was no, but the real answer was yes when – 30 minutes later, I watched a falcon swoop down RIGHT in front of me, and push Chris’ hat off his head!


Camera in hand, I didn’t react fast enough, but I did spy the guy (or gal) sitting up on a bridge tress. (S)he watched us and did it again, this time, we were all screaming and running, arms flailing and jackets pulled over our heads. No photos of that, too darn scary, but – you get the point.

Lesson? If you’re going to walk the lovely Chain of Rocks Bridge between March and June – DO take an umbrella and DON’T take your dog. And when you get to the middle span, way at the top where you can see the downtown skyline and the Arch, and the two handsome pumping stations in the middle of the river, look UP. Someone just might be watching you.

To see more photos of this terrific historic bridge, click here.

~ by kbosin on March 30, 2012.

3 Responses to “Fourth Falcon Attack!”

  1. They are trying to defend the few places left to raise a family. Sounds familiar.

  2. This happened to me and my aunt today- both ended up with scrapes on our scalps. Same spot- we’ve called the Department of Conservation and now they will post warning signs.

    • I think a warning sign would be perfect. Nobody wants to stop the falcons from living their lives up there on the bridge – but a warning would make all the difference. Being attacked by a diving bird is terrifying.

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