Peregrine falcons making life tough for Qantas staff

There has been a family of peregrine falcons living in a Qantas hangar at Sydney airport for decades, it appears, but not until this week has there ever been a problem. An aircraft worker has been attacked and quite possibly permanently blinded after being swooped (that’s the really bad news). A number of media outlets reported the incident but I’ve included The Guardian newspaper’s version as it shows more photos (apologies for the extra rubbish ads and the fact it’s The Guardian; I know some people hate it!!).

Peregrine falcon attack in Sydney
Peregrine falcon attack in Sydney at QANTAS hangar

I find it amusing that a union member has decided it’s suddenly an “unsafe work environment”, after all this time! The more appropriate approach should have been to warn staff (as they should during every breeding season) of the possibility that the adults will protect their eyrie. The occurrence of magpie attacks in Australia is FAR more prevalent, and in total more damaging, on an annual basis. The difference between a magpie attack and a peregrine attack is that you can hear a magpie coming!! Methinks QANTAS are also jealous there’s a faster creature than some of their planes!!

This is a timely reminder that anyone who wants to go check out the peregrines up the water tower at Orange campus during their breeding season (i.e. Aug-Nov) needs to be alert to exceedingly fast flying objects – wear a sturdy hat, just in case.

2 thoughts

  1. I think that the tone towards peregrines, despite the “attack”, was overwhelmingly positive. Seems like everybody loves the peregrines, but management and staff need to have effective strategies to ensure the safety of workers during breeding season. Great article, Scott – thanks for sharing.

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