Close encounter

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big_load
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Close encounter

Post by big_load » May 06 2012 9:47 pm

I had an interesting experience dayhiking on Mt. Lemmon yesterday. While standing on a big rock near Windy Point, I heard a sound like the sky being ripped in half, right next to my ear. I instinctively turned my head back to the direction it was going, and the sound's source was already a few hundred feet away, too far to positively ID. It was a swallow or some such bird that must have plummeted straight down (since I didn't see it coming toward me) and broke out of its dive at head level, about three feet from my left ear. The wind coming off its wing sounded like a jet engine. I figure it must have been going at least 150 mph.

Has anyone experienced something like this? It was a first for me.

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Close encounter

Post by Tough_Boots » May 06 2012 9:57 pm

The last time I did Battleship, there was some kind of bird that dive bombed me close like that. It was also probably the size of a swallow. I'm not really sure the purpose of a tactic like that but it's definitely unsettling. I've also had hummingbirds buzz me pretty close and they are actually pretty loud when right next to your ear.
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joebartels
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Re: Close encounter

Post by joebartels » May 06 2012 10:09 pm

White-lined Sphinx Moth seem silent a few feet away. They seem to move as fast as lightning. I had one buzz my right ear hiking out of Payson. Without the slightest breeze I had this feeling I'd just fallen through a black hole based on the sound alone. It took me awhile to figure out what it was as I couldn't see it at first.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Close encounter

Post by SuperstitionGuy » May 06 2012 10:12 pm

Birds will do that when you approach to close to their nest. :o

Welcome to the having been dive bombed experience. :scared:
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DarthStiller
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Re: Close encounter

Post by DarthStiller » May 06 2012 10:12 pm

I had a similar experience on Camelback Mt. way back about 10+ years ago when I first started hiking. But the bird was kind of diving thru the canyon (Echo canyon?) and seemed a little bigger, maybe more the size of a hawk. but I was shocked at how LOUD the sound was.

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big_load
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Re: Close encounter

Post by big_load » May 06 2012 10:53 pm

The Stillernator wrote:I was shocked at how LOUD the sound was
I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm also glad I had the presence of mind to not fall off the rock. It took me a second to make sense of the situation, since I couldn't think what could be that loud. Then it came to me as my head was turning, because in that instant of retrospection I recalled a flutter within the roar, as feathers might make. I wonder what sort of stress such a maneuver puts on the wings and bigger feathers.

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nonot
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Re: Close encounter

Post by nonot » May 07 2012 12:42 am

A hawk or falcon will do that, they fly fast and close to scare you away from their nest.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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nonot
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Re: Close encounter

Post by nonot » May 07 2012 12:43 am

A falcon is the only bird that could hit those speeds, and only in a pure dive, my guess is you had a hawk rip by you going about 60 mph
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Close encounter

Post by azbackpackr » May 07 2012 2:44 am

Peregrine falcons nest near there. Some of the rock climbing areas used to be closed all spring, until late June, very close to where you were. I am not sure of the most recent closures, but found this: http://www.climbaz.com/features/closures/closures.html

Also in that area is found the violet-green swallow. But I'm thinking the falcon, since Nonot pointed out that may be the only type of bird that could reach those speeds. And it is the nesting season, as you can see from the link.
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base871
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Re: Close encounter

Post by base871 » May 07 2012 8:36 am

Could be a peregrine falcon, they can hit speeds of over 150mph. Search for the video of the skydiver who has one for a pet. They leave the plane together and the falcon actually passes the guy on the way down.

Wanna see something really cool, I saw one hit a pigeon at south mountain once at speed. A loud pop followed by a shower of feathers. Took me a bit to figure out what happened, it was so fast!
"The Edge. There really is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it is are those who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Close encounter

Post by outdoor_lover » May 07 2012 10:30 am

@base871
They love pigeons! :D I wish more cities would become "Peregrine" friendly. They are nature's best answer to the Pigeon...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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azbackpackr
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Re: Close encounter

Post by azbackpackr » May 07 2012 10:52 am

Feral cats could be fed with pigeons. Then falcons could eat feral cats. Two birds with one stone. No, wait. One bird and one cat with one bird. That doesn't have much of a ring to it does it?

Ok I'll go away. I am just practicing an avoidance maneuver to put off studying for finals.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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chulavista
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Re: Close encounter

Post by chulavista » May 08 2012 3:10 pm

This post made me laugh. I've been dive-bombed by Red Tails, and tree'd by Javelina.
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chulavista
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Re: Close encounter

Post by chulavista » May 08 2012 3:11 pm

azbackpackr wrote:Feral cats could be fed with pigeons. Then falcons could eat feral cats. Two birds with one stone. No, wait. One bird and one cat with one bird. That doesn't have much of a ring to it does it?

Ok I'll go away. I am just practicing an avoidance maneuver to put off studying for finals.
:sl: :sl: :sl:
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azbackpackr
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Re: Close encounter

Post by azbackpackr » May 08 2012 4:33 pm

At least someone likes my jokes! ;)
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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cactuscat
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Re: Close encounter

Post by cactuscat » May 09 2012 6:26 pm

base871 wrote:Could be a peregrine falcon, they can hit speeds of over 150mph. Search for the video of the skydiver who has one for a pet. They leave the plane together and the falcon actually passes the guy on the way down.

Wanna see something really cool, I saw one hit a pigeon at south mountain once at speed. A loud pop followed by a shower of feathers. Took me a bit to figure out what happened, it was so fast!
I have seen a kestrel falcon take a bird (sparrow?) in mid air - sounded like a fist smacking into a hand ... also had a kestrel take another sparrow right off my front porch, and the other day I saw one making off with a baby mockingbird shrieking in it's talons and the parent giving chase!
Where is the "dislike" button?

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kevinweitzel75
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Re: Close encounter

Post by kevinweitzel75 » May 09 2012 6:52 pm

azbackpackr wrote:Then falcons could eat feral cats.
My moms cat caught a falcon and left it dead on her doorstep, one time.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the road less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
Robert Frost

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Vaporman
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Re: Close encounter

Post by Vaporman » May 10 2012 6:38 am

We were at the first rappel up near the ridgeline after just dropping into the beginnings of a canyon in Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas this last weekend and both of us got buzzed at least a few times by small yet fast birds. Good thing we had helmets and glasses on but after getting buzzed while on rope, I quickly dropped over the edge in case one accidently hit me while starting the rappel and knocked me over the edge. :o
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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johnlp
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Re: Close encounter

Post by johnlp » May 10 2012 8:01 am

Got buzzed by a great horned owl about a year ago while walking my dog before dawn. It made three seperate attempts to attack from behind. Very aggressive bird. Not a welcome site to turn around and see an owl coming straight for your head. :o
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Close encounter

Post by outdoor_lover » May 10 2012 8:24 am

@Vaporman
:o That would definitely be a little unnerving, at least they were small and you weren't near an Eagle's nest or something! You might have fallen over the edge just in the process of self preservation!! :sweat:

@johnlp
I had a Caracara do that to me when I worked at the zoo, but for some reason it liked my hairband and kept trying to rip it off my head. Nothing like trying to rip my entire head off in the process... :sweat:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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