Jo Durt and The Sunset Stoop

It all happened quite suddenly. I was lying in a tire track, the favorite hangout of our endangered Beach Nesting birds, and enjoying the sunset with a flock of Black Skimmers.
It all happened quite suddenly. I was lying in a tire track, the favorite hangout of our endangered Beach Nesting birds,  enjoying the sunset with a flock of Black Skimmers.
When without warning a Great Cacophony commenced... flocks of Skimmers, Royal Tern, Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and Piping Plover all too to the sky in explosive haste.
When without warning a Great Cacophony commenced… flocks of Skimmers, Royal Tern, Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and Piping Plover all took to the sky in an explosive instant.
And high above it all was a strange figure, commanding the scene like aGreat Conductor , orchestrating the total chaos on the beach below.
And high above it all was a strange figure, commanding the scene like a Great Conductor, orchestrating the total chaos on the beach below.
And at the peak of the insanity, this Great Conductor climbed to the apex and plunged. It was then I knew it could only be one thing...
And at the peak of the insanity, this Great Conductor climbed to the apex and plunged. It was then I knew it could only be one thing…
It was the Stoop of a Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on the planet. Did you think the Cheetah was the fastest? That's because Cheetahs are cheaters, and in the '70s when the Peregrine were near extinction, the International Council of Cheetah launched a deceptive smear campaign to confuse the term "animal" with "land animals". But a Peregrine's stoop dive when catching prey clocks in at amazing 240 miles per hour. And it is a sight to behold.
It was the Stoop of a Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on the planet. Did you think the Cheetah was the fastest? That’s because Cheetahs are Cheaters, and in the ’70s when the Peregrine were near extinction, the International Council of Cheetah launched a deceptive smear campaign to confuse the term “animal” with “land animals”. But a Peregrine’s stoop dive when catching prey clocks in at unbelievable 240 miles per hour. And it is a sight to behold.
Stunned by the hypnotic beauty of the Stoop, blinded by the contrast of the last sun and the tiny shadowy figure ruling the sky, I stumbled down the beach to follow this Great Conductor. Who might be so bold as to attack our Skimmer Estates, A Nation Reborn?
Stunned by the hypnotic beauty of the Stoop, blinded by the contrast of the last sun and the tiny shadowy figure ruling the sky, I stumbled down the beach to follow this Dark Conductor. Who might be so bold as to attack our Skimmer Estates, A Nation Reborn? Who might try to eat SNugz?
And that's when I found this baby Falcon, perched upon a tiny throne.
And that’s when I found this baby Falcon, perched upon a tiny throne.
"I iz Jo Durt, from House Flower Pot, unpin Crest of the Wild Woode. Eater of Burd!" he said.
“I iz Jo Durt, from House Flower Pot, upon Crest of the Wild Woode. Eater of Burd!” he said.

Say what? I had never heard such a thing come from the beak of a Falcon before. Puzzled, I grabbed a shot of his Green & Black leg band (indicating immediately that he was born in New Jersey) and sought out the only person in the State who might shed light on such a mystery… The Great Mother of All Cool Things You Can’t Shoot With A Gun In New Jersey, Kathy Clark.

If our culture celebrated our Wildlife Heroes as we do our Movie Stars, young, wild children around the globe would surely have posters of Kathy Clark plastered all over their walls and inside their school lockers. She is the legendary zoologist for New Jersey’s Nongame Endangered Species Program and has been instrumental in the restoration of our awesome population of Raptors for years. Showing her the leg band, she knew right away who this brazen young raptor was.

“82/an is one of the fledglings from the Wildwood Crest condo balcony where Mom nested in a flowerpot! First time for that! Mom is a NYer from Hempstead & dad is a Stone Harbor boy. I saw all 4 fledglings there sitting around the roof & ledges like little princes…. Cool.”

So there you have it. With his rich genealogy and distinctive birth in a Luxury Condo, it appears we have a Little Prince eating the birds of our Island this season.

And to you Jo Durt, I say there are plenty of Regular Birds to eat around this Island. Stay away from Skimmer Estates.