Sleeping pigeon miraculously escapes the clutches of peregrine falcon

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DRAMATIC images captured the moment a sleeping pigeon miraculously escaped the clutches of an attacking peregrine falcon. 

Keen wildlife photographer Don West captured incredible images of the pigeon’s great escape yesterday in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

The 61-year-old had went out to take photographs of the bird, known in the community as Mrs P, in the local church spire where it is known to live.

The sleeping pigeon | Nature News UK
The pigeon sleeping before the peregrine falcon attacked.

He managed to spot the raptor preying on a snoozing, plump pigeon that was nearby..

Incredible shots captured the falcon soaring down onto the roof of a local bank, to get near to the unaware bird – who was photographed with its eyes closed.

Other images show the peregrine falcon launching its attack and swooping down before sinking its claws into its prey.

Feathers can be seen flying everywhere as the pigeon tried to escape the clutches of the powerful raptor.

The peregrine falcon attacks | Nature News UK
The peregrine falcon swoops in on the unexpecting pigeon.

The last shot shows how the pigeon miraculously manages to escape its demise.

Don has branded the bird “the luckiest pigeon in Market Harborough”.

Speaking today, Don said: “The pair of peregrines are local celebrities, everyone in the town knows they are there.

“Most people can be seen looking up at her when they walk past the church.

“It was brilliant to see her hunting.

Peregrine falcon hunts | Nature News UK
The peregrine falcon clutches the pigeon in its talons.

“She was doing her usual sitting in the church doing nothing, which she can do for hours!

“She dropped down onto the roof of the bank, sat there for a while, eyed up her prey on the next roof and dived onto it.  

“She grabbed the poor pigeon, flew off with it, but it managed to get away.”

“It certainly is one lucky pigeon.”

Peregrine falcon hunts | Nature News UK
The peregrine falcon clutches the pigeon in its talons.

Yesterday, Don posted his pictures of the hunt to Facebook, writing: “The one that got away. 

“This must be the luckiest pigeon in Market Harborough. 
 
“She swooped on it and carried it off, but somehow it managed to escape the claws of death to fly again another day.”

Don’s post has attracted dozens of comments from impressed followers.

Peregrine falcon hunts | Nature News UK
The pigeons miraculously fights its way free from the grasp of the falcon.

Diane Hall wrote: “Amazing photos Don. What a lucky pigeon to escape like that!”

Jane Wake said: “Fantastic photography!”

And Lynda North commented: “Mrs. P is welcome to any/all the feral pigeons which are frequently in my garden. 

“They eat all the food meant for the little birds and are a real nuisance!”