SARANAC LAKE - A fully grown peregrine falcon startled workers Friday when it chased a pigeon into a garage filled with lawn mowers and other small machines in need of repair.
The predatory bird stayed in the garage at Sturdy Supply, on Bloomingdale Avenue downtown, for about five minutes, according to Dick Branch.
"Scared the heck out of the guys in the shop," Branch said.
A peregrine falcon perches on the handle of a portable heater inside Sturdy Supply’s garage in downtown Saranac Lake Friday.
(Photo — Dick Branch)
The falcon tried to get out of the garage through a window but couldn't, so after flying around the shop, it perched on a portable heater. Branch said the staff tried to shoo it out the door, but it didn't budge. Finally, it noticed the open door and flew back out.
The visit was an enjoyable thrill for guys like Branch, but not for at least one of the parties involved.
"Poor pigeon was scared to death and had to be captured and released back outside," Branch said.
Branch estimated the falcon was 15 to 18 inches tall.
Local birding expert Brian McAllister looked at Branch's photo of the bird in awe, calling it "a perfect peregrine." He said peregrines, America's largest type of falcon, have nested in the Saranac Lake area in the past, but this one could also have come from the Wilmington Notch, where they are known to nest on the cliffs.