A Mercantile Nature Moment–Celebrate Urban Birds with Falco Peregrinus



Find the world's fastest creature in this photo

A visitor to the Mercantile spotted this Peregrin Falcon (click here to visit the “Celebrate Urban Birds website), perhaps attracted by plummeting real estate values, on the derelict Bartlett building.  I assume juvenile because of a lighter back and lack of horizontally defined striations on his or her breast and legs.  Waited quite some time for a shot on the wing, but it just sat there for a good twenty minutes and, when it finally swooped on up the street, I got bupkis, camera-wise.  We wish we had a powerful zoom lens for moments like this.  Through Norm’s Dad’s binoculars we established that its beak was blue and eyes very agile as it turned them on the sky, down the street, and cast a wan look on the “birdarazzi” hanging out of the window across Walnut Street.  Due to the ravages of DDT, Peregrins were declared all but extinct in North America in the 60s and 70s, but breed and release programs made it possible, in 1999, to remove them from the endangered species list.  With scimitar-shaped wings, the Peregrin Falcon is capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, making it faster than Cheetahs.   It has been trained for hunting for millennia, and continues to prove itself useful for controlling pigeon populations in downtown areas and reducing the risk of bird strikes at airports.  -Ed Scripsi

A young peregrine relaxes on Bartlett Building windowsill

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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