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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Mar 22, 2010

Peregrine Falcon

My days always start early, it doesn't  matter if I  am working or not, and I am simply not content to be idle. So I usually have a plan or two in place for things to do on my days off and this often involves birdwatching.  Typically however, I do not see a  lot of birds when I am working, because of course I work indoors, although I have a tendency to carry my camera equipment around with me in case I spot a bird on my way to and from work. I also always  arrive early to work to allow me the chance to have a cup of coffee.   It is a good thing  that I do both, as it turned out on this particular day, when I stepped outside before starting work for the day to finish my coffee.

Peregrine Falcon perched on building

Because I always have one eye on the sky especially in spring, summer and fall, I spotted a member of  the raptor family that I had never seen before within just a couple of minutes.  But, to my dismay, it dove after a pigeon and out of sight.   Nevertheless, I decided to take the chance that it might fly by again and so I sprinted inside to grab my digital binoculars.  Talk about a lucky decision!

Peregrine Falcon in flight

Not only did the bird return into my field of view, but it perched on the top of a new building that had only just gone up across the street from my work location.  The bird turned out to be a Peregrine falcon, which I had heard  hunting in the downtown area on occasion, but had never actually seen directly.  In this city there is a pair of Peregrine falcons that nest atop of one of the high-rise buildings downtown every year.  A fact  that  made the news when they first built their nest there.

So when I realized just which bird I had within the sights of my binoculars,  I was of course delighted, especially since I know that the Peregrine Falcon had been in danger of extinction due to the wide spread  use of DDT which prevented their eggs from hatching.  The fact that I was seeing it, represented it's come back from that danger.  Obviously the offspring of the falcon pair downtown were not only hatching, but surviving, and seeking their own hunting grounds.

Coming to a landing

I cannot really even begin to describe just how fortunate I felt on that particular morning, or the joy I experienced in seeing this bird. In fact it was such that my whole day was enhanced and went very well, which was unusual considering the work I do.  Several curious people stopped to ask me what I was looking at and naturally I attempted to share my joy  with those people.  However, it was not really a surprise that many of  them were not as enthusiastic about birds as I am.   I was even teased suggestively, at one point, about watching the work crew still putting the finishing touches on the building where the Peregrine was perched. Why would I be interested in anything else after all?  Of course, being an intelligent woman I just laughed and shrugged it off.

Naturally for me, who loves hawks, the more hawks to be seen in the sky the better, and if the variety of hawks seen in greater, that is even better still. Unfortunately, I didn't see the Peregrine falcon again last year, but I am confident that I will at some point.  I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for it when I start going out birding again this year.  In the mean time  I have been doing some research on this bird, so if you are interested just follow the links as usual:


One  interesting fact about the Peregrine falcon that I have learned, is that this bird is capable of speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when diving after prey.  The links above, aside from giving you information, will provide you with much better images than mine, to help you identify this bird.   As always, enjoy.


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