Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine Falcon is a bird of prey. They have blue-grey wings with a wingspan of 3.5 feet, a dark brown back, a buff coloured underside with brown spots, a white face with a black stripe on their cheeks and a life of only 17 years in the wild. They also have hooked beaks and strong talons. Their name comes from the Latin word peregrinus, which means, "to wander." They are commonly referred to as the Duck Hawk. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest flying bird in the world and is able to dive at 200 miles per hour.

Where does the Peregrine Falcon live?

The Peregrine Falcon is one of the most widely distributed species in the world. It is found on every continent except Antarctica. It can survive in a wide variety of habitats including urban cities, the tropics and deserts. Some migrate long distances from their wintering areas to their summer nesting areas. When nesting they usually nest on cliffs and cliff-like structures, so during the breeding season they are found near mountainous or rocky areas, or man-made structures that substitute as cliffs.

Why did the Peregrine Falcon drop in numbers?

Peregrine Falcons are endangered mostly due to the pesticide DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane), this doesn’t harm the bird but only the eggs causing it to soften and crack and resulting in a widespread nest failure. Today DDT is used in some countries where the peregrine falcon winters. Great horned owls and golden eagles will occasionally kill young peregrine falcons also.

What can be done to save the Peregrine Falcon?

To save the Pergrine Falcon there has been a ban on DDT, a new law stopping people killing the creature and enviromental groups because of this the Peregrine Falcons have begun to recover and increase in number. In Washington, Peregrine Falcons reached as low of four pairs in 1980. In 2000, 56 pairs were counted. Peregrine Falcons can now be found in most parts of the state where there are cliffs or structures for nesting and...