Native Animal of the Month: Peregrine falcon

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Peregrine falcons – Falco peregrinus

 

Peregrine falcons are found all over the world. Adult peregrines are blue-gray above with barred underparts and a dark head with thick dark sideburns resembling a helmet. Juveniles are heavily marked, with vertical streaks instead of horizontal bars on the breast.

 

Peregrine falcons are extremely strong fliers and have been reported to be the fastest bird in the world. The average flight speed for peregrines ranges from 24 to 33 mph but flying speeds can increase to over 60 mph when pursuing prey. To hunt, peregrines often sit on high perches. Peregrine specialize in hunting other birds. Typical prey includes shorebirds, ducks, grebes, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds.

 

Peregrine falcons typically nest on a third of the way up a cliff face on bluffs or cliffs that are about 25 to approximately 1,300 feet high. In urban areas, peregrines will nest on buildings and bridges. Peregrines are found in Puget Sound towns and cities. Keep an eye out, peregrines have been observed hanging around the SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve.

 

By:
SHADOW Volunteer- Joy Stewart