Boeing's 737 Debacle Now Extends To A Pair Of Nesting Falcons
The Boeing 737-MAX grounding saga continues, but now with an adorable twist: The Seattle Times did some digging and found that a nesting pair of peregrine falcons have been hanging out inside the Boeing assembly plant in Seattle. The falcons have been feeding on pigeons that wander into the plant, and may have trained themselves to identify a bell that rings when the hangar doors open, so they can hunt outside for a little while.
These raptors are on the clock! We hope they get cute little time-cards to punch in and out with.
Over the past four years, this nesting pair has had three baby falcons just plop down from their nest and start wandering the factory floor. Instead of admiring their ambition and hiring the birds on the spot, Boeing called in falconers to come in and solve the problem. The baby birds were taken away, have been trained to hunt, and they're actually doing quite well. The problem now is the parents: With the plant idled and the factory doors shut most of the time, food isn't getting in, and they can't get out to hunt.
They laid off the falcons.
The US Department of Agriculture has been called in, and will supposedly "trap and relocate" the birds -- but there's no guarantees for success, as peregrine falcons tend to nest in the same place, sometimes for life. Sort of tells you something about Seattle property values these days -- that the falcons were willing to settle in a noisy, crowded factory just for access to food and shelter, and now won't leave. It's like the bird version of a rent-controlled walkup.