Bird of the Week – Peregrine Falcon

It’s hard not to like the Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Falcon, Tanana Lakes, Fairbanks

Peregrine Falcon, Tanana Lakes, Fairbanks

In many ways, it is the poster child for the environmental movement. The species was nearly extirpated by DDT and other environmental contaminants. The populations have recovered and adapted to humankind to some extent. It’s not at all unusual to see Peregrines nesting on skyscrapers in big cities,1 feeding on pigeons.

Peregrine Falcon, Tanana Bluffs, Alaska

Peregrine Falcon Annoyed with Photographer, Tanana Bluffs, Alaska

But the Peregine is wholly admirable in its own right. A cosmopolitan bird, it can be found in deserts, swamps, alpine reasons and agricultural area.  WC has seen Peregrines in almost all Alaska habitats. It’s a champion flier, with some birds making an annual migration of some 25,000 miles. And, famously, this is the fastest flying species of bird in the world today, in its dives reaching 200 mph. A pigeon struck by a stooping Peregrine explodes in a cloud of feathers.

Peregrine Falcon, Tanana River Bluffs

Peregrine Falcon, Tanana River Bluffs

The species is still expanding into its historic range. The Alaska populations were never seriously endangered. It’s on most birders’ short list of very favorite raptors.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

  1. And medium-sized cities, including Boise, Idaho. Visit the webcam

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