Imagine that you’re a mourning dove – happily flying around when all of a sudden, you see a terrifying peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) flying straight at you.
Peregrine falcons are very powerful, fast-flying hunters who’s favorite meal would be another bird. The Peregrine eats mourning doves, pigeons, shorebirds, waterfowl, ptarmigan, grouse, and smaller songbirds. The most common prey item is pigeons. Peregrine falcons will also eat small reptiles and mammals.
But don’t hate them because of their diet. In fact, like most things in nature, they’re part of a grander plan.
With a hat-tip to Jason Ward, these sky Lamborghinis are the fastest animal on the planet, capable of reaching speeds of more than 200 miles per hour in a dive. They are found worldwide and are one of the most widespread terrestrial vertebrate species in the world.
Because of their fantastic agility and capability for high speeds, peregrine falcons have been the favorite choice of falconers. Falconers train them to hunt other birds.
They were virtually eradicated from eastern North America by pesticide poisoning in the middle 20th century. After significant recovery efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made an incredible rebound and are now regularly seen in many large cities and coastal areas.
While Peregrine falcons are high up on the food chain, they aren’t completely free from predators. Next week, I’m going to talk about one of the birds that can introduce turn about is fair play to the Peregrine. Want to find out which bird eats the falcon tune in and please tell your friends.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Avian Beauty. Thanks for listening.
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Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.
Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.