I met my minions today. They were shrieky.

The baby falcons that live atop the Gulf Tower had their check-up/banding this morning in the Make A Wish offices on the 37th floor (more on that soon), and I was thrilled to attend for the chance to visit my pigeon-eating minions up close and personal for the first time as the National Aviary and the Pennsylvania Game Commission got to work.

After the five babies were retrieved from their perch, they were brought into a conference room to be checked out, banded, weighed, etc.

A baby falcon has basically one facial expression and that is this: “I will choke a bitch.”


That falcon is thinking about choking bitches. So is this one:

As the first falcon was examined, its brothers/sisters waiting in boxes nearby, things weren’t too loud. This bird was a cool customer. Thinking about choking bitches, but doing it quietly.

I think it was by the second bird that things started getting loud. The falcon babies began to show their great displeasure with the poking and prodding.

Claws came out.

Let me pull you aside at this point and tell you that when my daughter was a baby, she had this way of crying in the car that just made me want to put my fist through the windshield. I love her more than the air I breathe, but when she would do this cry, it sounded like shrieking demons choking on dying cats. It was enough to make me cover my ears and start rocking myself calm. I used to say, “I love her, but that is the most annoying sound in the world.”

Guess what? NEW MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE WORLD! Angry baby falcons.

Once one of the falcons started … I don’t even know what to call it. Squawking? Shrieking? Invoking the name of Beelzebub? Whatever it was, it had a domino effect. “You’re pissed? Brother, you ain’t seen pissed. Watch this!”

Enjoy this little video of pissed off baby falcons who want to choke bitches with their pointy pigeon-killing claws. I will pay you a dime if you watch the entire 1:34 without turning the volume down or covering your ears all, “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR EVIL DEMON-SHRIEKING.” Please note how much of a “I will choke a bitch” vibe that falcon is giving me at the :20 mark.

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Having spent some time with the falcons, allow me to translate what they’re saying.



[Takes a bow]

You can watch these newly banded birds right here. Also, the falcon chicks wanted me to give a message to the pigeons:



  1. bucdaddy
    May 26, 2011 1:38 pm

    Falcon squawk sounds just like the music for the shower scene in “Psycho,” appropriately enough. Now I’m picturing Janet Leigh being slashed to death with talons.

  2. TripleC
    May 26, 2011 1:39 pm

    Sweet. Looks like I found a new ringtone for when the mother-in-law calls. Kidding (just a little).

  3. Virginia
    May 26, 2011 1:41 pm

    OMG. I think TripleC is winning this one. Hilarious.

  4. sherry
    May 26, 2011 1:42 pm

    i watch every year- always amazed at nature.

  5. Sue
    May 26, 2011 1:44 pm

    I could never do what these fine people do. I’m so stressed just listening to those birds. Now I wanna choke a bitch. LOL @ TripleC. :)

  6. AngryMongo
    May 26, 2011 1:47 pm

    Before my daughter was born, we went round and round thinking of a name. We couldn’t come up with one that was fine with either of us. My wife, nonchalantly said, “Oh hell, let’s just call her Chewbacca.”

    After she was born, the first time she really cried, she had this tongue roll that sounded exactly like… Chewbacca.

  7. Crazy Hat Bitch
    May 26, 2011 1:50 pm


  8. Mirth
    May 26, 2011 6:59 pm

    @TribleC – That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day! Also, I need to steal that idea (not even kidding a little.)

  9. nycldenise
    May 26, 2011 8:14 pm

    I started playing the video and my dog came running at me FULL SPEED. I can’t even comprehend what that means right now.

  10. Lauryn
    May 27, 2011 2:59 pm

    I’ll hopefully soon be doing something similar with some osprey chicks here in VA. If I can arrange a way to get some video to you, I’ll do that. They may not go after pigeons as much as fish, but they’re still cool birds.

  11. Shelly
    May 27, 2011 4:06 pm

    I work in the Gulf Tower and have had baby falcons sit on my window sill for hours staring in the window just checking things out. One time a baby was there for so long I actually called the Western Conservancy because I thought something was wrong. They assured me the baby was fine and just curious. One of the perks to working in this building- being entertained and amazed by the falcons.

  12. Cathy
    May 27, 2011 4:13 pm

    Lmao. I made it through the whole thing snd for the record if someone comes near my nether regions I’m gonna make that noise too!!!!!!!!

  13. Trish
    May 30, 2011 2:14 am

    Cough up the dime, Ginny, I made it all the way through. Then again I once drove five hundred miles with three cats crying continuously and managed to keep my sanity–okay, there might have been a couple instances of me screaming FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE SHUT THE EFF UP FOR TWO FREAKING SECONDS–but otherwise yeah.