Once upon a day, as I was walking along in Santa Cruz, right outside Cafe Pergolesi, I heard a bird screaming from my left. To my great surprise, down on the sidewalk plops a Merlin (also known as a Pigeon Hawk - Falco columbarius) holding a starling it had just caught. The starling, almost as big as the falcon, is screaming bloody murder of course, as it is still alive. The hawk sits there mantling the starling (spreading its wings over it), while it looks up at the small crowd of people gathered around in surprise. After a few seconds it lets its prey go (that starling was outt'a there!) and flies up into a nearby tree, looking quite cross and bobbing it's head up and down at the spectators.
Other Santa Cruz raptor stories include seeing a red-tailed hawk grab a gopher from my landlord's garden patch (this was in a residential area). My landlord was quite pleased. I've also seen a pair of migrating peregrine falcons close up, as they were resting among some eucalyptus trees.