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A falcon weighs in on mysterious bird deaths — and demands more respect from the spy community

January 6, 2011
Today we’re featuring our first guest blogger, David Scherler. David is a part-time turntable master, sometime glacier climber, and full-time falcon obsessor. He’s been kind enough to translate one falcon’s thoughts on recent news in the bird world.

I'm ready to drop some knowledge.

Well there sure has been a lot of bird news as of late. First this story circulates about blackbirds “falling out of the sky” for unknown-to-human reasons (I’ll return to this point later). Now Saudi Arabia is detaining and prosecuting Israeli vultures for spying on its territory? Ridiculous! It sure has been a big bird news week and I’m here to weigh in on some of the controversy.

Granted, I have no use for blackbirds or vultures. However, since one is a fellow bird of prey and the other a rich man’s crow — but kin nonetheless — some bird must chirp up. That bird is I, Sir Peirce the Fierce, a Peregrine Falcon. I hail from the temperaments of North America letting no one region claim me. Until that is I sort of, kind of entered into this, ahem, mutual contract with a human male from New Jersey. No big deal. We go hunting together: I retrieve pesky field mice and he gives me a feast. Just got to stay, er, chained up in the pad sometimes. Like I said, no big deal. Plus I get to rock these ill leather caps, yo! Anyways, I digress.

I’m here to set the record straight and drop some knowledge real quick. First of all, blackbirds aren’t just “falling out of the sky” like snow flakes. Come on, humans. Birds don’t just fall out of the sky. WE’RE BIRDS. We been flyin’. For like, a REALLY long time. How long have you been flying? Oh, right. You don’t. Not without those silver cans that are always creeping on geese. We especially don’t get confused and suddenly plunge to earth leading 2,999 others to the same demise like that one joker in the Washington Post Express suggested.

Explain to me, a bird, how that’s supposed to work. “Hey guys I think we’re running out of sky. We better dive as fast as we can into the ground – where it’s safe. Come on, everyone!” Without ONE other bird being like, “Yeah, I don’t think we should do that?” No! Fact is, humans crash into things too. All the time. But I don’t see any papers running the headline, “Human hits telephone pole, scientists bewildered”. If birds are falling out of the sky there’s a reason for it. You humans just haven’t figured it out yet.

For legal reasons, all I can say about the Saudi Arabia case is this: that vulture better lawyer up. After that shark incident, they’ll be dying to make an example of someone. But the thing that really burns me up about this isn’t the vulture doing time. It’s that so many humans think the idea of a bird being a spy is ridiculous. Well it’s not! The truth is birds have been spies since WWII. They even served as counter-intelligence! BAM. What, Langley? Come see how us birds do!

This is how bird spies kicked it in the old days.

Here’s something else for you to chew on. You’re talking to the grandbird of an Army Pigeon Special Service Section veteran. My grandbird, Giles the Great, served two tours under the British flag against those dirty Nazi spy pigeons. He once bite the beak off of a spy pigeon and used it to the peck the eyes out of another spy mid-flight. True story. Grandbird Giles was fierce. He’s a legit war hero. If it wasn’t for grandbird Giles and his troop, we’d all probably be locked up in some Nazi cage. But we’re not. Which reminds me, humans. You know that saying, you all got. Goes something like, “Free as a bird.” Well, you’re welcome.

-Sir Peirce the Fierce

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