One of the cool things about newspaper photography is the strange places you find yourself in while on assignment. Recently I found myself on the ledge of the 23rd floor of the Atlantic Club, in Atlantic City. It was the annual banding of the Peregrine Falcons that nest outside of the penthouse. The door opens and you’re staring at the three-foot ledge at the top of the building. The falcon nest is a few feet to the left. The penthouse butler, a great guy named Mel Thompson, of Northfield, uses a feather duster on the end of a long poll (a highly technical piece of equipment) to keep the momma falcon distracted as a zoologist scurries out on the ledge to collect the chicks. The female peregrine, not fond of the activity, is dive-bombing into us and coming really close. A few years ago the falcon came so close I came away with a cut on my head from a brush with some very sharp talons. It’s exciting, a bit dangerous (I did lose a pair of glasses over the edge), and pretty cool.

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