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19 January 2013

Hanoi : Peregrine on winter roost

This Peregrine Falcon (race japonensis, calidus?) have taken up winter residence on a high-rise building in downtown Hanoi.

To witness this guy snatching birds above the bustling capital city is a cool sight. More than 10 attacks spotted, 5 of which successful (small passerines, among them 1 Munia sp. identified). After each attack it returns to the same ledge or another one just below.

After photographing and videoing it from the street, I finally found a solution to approach it closer. On the 19th floor, I flushed it when I suddenly appeared 40-50 meters away from its ledge. But surprisingly, only 5 minutes later, it came back around its favorite perch... but did not dare to land. Being convinced that I could not get good shots without hiding myself, I decided to leave the place and come back later with a hide. But as I was packing my photography gear, I realised that it had finally landed and was sitting `quietly` on its prefered ledge.

I moved very slowly, and amazingly it did not flew off. Fifteen minutes later it had almost completely forgot me and was concentrated on its Peregrine's job : bird hunting. I stayed one hour and witnessed 3 - unsuccessful - attacks.

A video clip of this guy. For optimal resolution, please select 480p under Change Quality settings.


  1. Fantastic photos (sebastien I guess). Please tell me you did not walk around the ledge we see in the pictures, 19 stories up?

    1. Hi Wayne, I just took an elevator up to the... Panoramic Bar :))), a totally snobby one - i am sure you can guess where it is...


  2. This is just stunning, of all places the guy choose Hanoi! I almost wish I was back in Hanoi.

  3. Awesome shots!
    Peregrines really like these hotels in Hanoi. I saw one a couple of times from my desk looking at the Sheraton.
    cheers, florian