Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I can now die happy a.k.a. peregrine falcon

Alaksen National Wildlife Area, Delta BC, August 2

Peregrine falcons are among my favourite birds - I can't say they're always at the top, but they do spend a good deal of time there. I'm not sure why I love them so much - it might have started when I learned to fly a falcon to a lure while I was working at a raptor rehabilitation centre. Her name was Bertha, and we taught her how to chase a bird-shaped piece of leather with some meat on it in order to test her flight and hunting skills. Afterwards, she would sit on my glove and snack on chicken bits. Even though she was recovering from injuries, her eyes were still fierce and she was happy to take a chunk out of your finger if you got any crazy ideas like stroking the top of her head.

Afterwards, I read a book on the peregrine falcon recovery project by Jim Enderson and wrote a lit review on adaptations of the peregrine falcon for a natural history class. When the peregrine hunts small birds, it ascends high into the sky and comes plummeting down at speeds conservatively estimated at 252 km/h but could be as fast as 560 km/h. The impact of the falcon on its prey is usually enough to kill it instantly.

This is the first peregrine I've seen in the wild.

1 comment:

  1. How fantastic! They are amazing in their supersonic flying ability.


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