Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Related shows:

Tony Angell Watches a Peregrine Falcon Fledge

Tony Angell writes: "I was standing opposite a peregrine falcon's cliffside nest ... the female falcon, carrying prey, flew into a stand of madronas overhead. It was early ... and the hungry youngster had yet to be fed. Seeing the meal she had, the nestling responded with wing flapping and... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  reflection

Angry Birds

Every day, nearly 3.5 million hours are spent playing Rovio's award-winning game, "Angry Birds." We don't know of too many birds whose eggs are stolen by pigs, but no bird is happy when its eggs are stolen. You might hear an American Robin, sounding its alarm. An angry Peregrine Falcon protects... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  humor

Birders and their Special Places

Some birders specialize in a particular species. Others are drawn to a special place. Michael Hobbs took note when a Lazuli Bunting (like this one) turned up at Marymoor Park, an unusual sighting for Western Washington. Connie Sidles knows when to expect the American Pipit at the Union Bay... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Winter Brings Falcons

A Merlin — like this one — hunts boldly from a high perch. A Peregrine Falcon dives on a hapless pigeon, with an air speed approaching 200 miles per hour. The Gyrfalcon can fly down even the fastest waterfowl in a direct sprint. A Prairie Falcon blends in with its background. And the smallest... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Father Birds

The male hummingbird leaves the female to build the nest and raise the young alone, but other father birds are more involved. A Peregrine Falcon father shares duties almost evenly with the mother. (Stewart, seen here, nested on a Seattle skyscraper for many years.) But the male Emu of Australia... read more »

RELATED

Mother Birds

Happy Mother's Day, from the whole BirdNote team!Avian motherhood is a mixed bag. Peregrine Falcon mothers share duties fairly equally with Peregrine dads. At the other end of the spectrum is the female hummingbird, which usually carries the entire burden of nesting, incubating, and tending the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Peregrine-Shorebird Interaction

Have you ever seen a Peregrine Falcon attack a flock of shorebirds, igniting a breathtaking aerial display? Falcon researcher Steve Herman calls this pattern of evasion "instantaneous synchronicity." The shorebird flock will often form a cone, with the sharpest point shifting continuously to face... read more »

RELATED

City Peregrines

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on earth. But its speed couldn't help it avoid the dangers of the pesticide DDT. By the 1970s, the species had declined as much as 80-90% across the US. Since the ban of DDT – and with the help of the Endangered Species Act – well, theyyyy're baaaack! And... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Peregrines Take Wing

By June, many young Peregrine Falcons are ready to leave the safety of the aerie and go off on their own. A young bird lifts off and heads ... where? With a little luck, the young falcon will make it safely to a nearby ledge, whether cliff or skyscraper. Juveniles stay close to their nesting site... read more »

RELATED

Tracking Peregrine Falcons

In September, a streamlined Peregrine Falcon calls as it wings its way south from its Arctic nesting grounds. The pale gray falcon will spend the winter in Chile. On its back, it wears a miniature satellite transmitter, attached there by members of the Falcon Research Group. In 2006, Bud Anderson... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Peregrines and Pigeon Plumages

Urban Peregrine Falcons rely on Rock Pigeons for much of their diet. But some pigeons appear harder to catch than others. Pigeons with white rumps evade pursuing falcons more often than those with dark rumps. When scientists took dark-rumped pigeons and colored their rumps white, their survival... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  plumage

Wimbledon Peregrines

Wimbledon is legendary: the verdant green of the courts, the throngs of fans in sun hats, sightings of royalty ... and lots of pigeons. Since the tennis tournament began in 1877, pigeons nested in the stands and generally made a mess of things. Today, though, very few pigeons attend Wimbledon.... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  sports

Piracy Among Raptors

One bird of prey may steal another's meal, a behavior that biologists call piracy, or kleptoparasitism. The prey may change hands several times, perhaps from Northern Harrier to Peregrine Falcon to Bald Eagle. The Peregrine - like the young one seen here - may steal a meal, or have its meal... read more »

RELATED

An Adventure on the Skagit

On the Skagit Flats, an hour north of Seattle, dramatic scenes of wildlife unfold every winter. "The flats" are broad, level deltas where the river drains into Skagit Bay. They offer a wildlife panorama with few equals in North America. Immense Bald Eagles stand ready to give chase for a winter... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Peregrine Comeback

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which came out in 1962, linked the pesticide DDT to the decline of many birds, including songbirds. But Peregrine Falcons and other raptors had declined, too. When the birds ingested DDT, it caused their eggshells to thin and break under the weight of the incubating... read more »

RELATED

Follow Island Girl with Bud Anderson

"Peregrine" means "wanderer." And Island Girl, a Peregrine Falcon, has made the 18,000-mile round-trip journey from the high arctic of Canada to southern Chile three times. Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group calls her "a master of the air." Using satellite telemetry, he invites people to... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Monitoring the Health of Coastal Raptors

Since 1995, biologist Dan Varland, Executive Director of Coastal Raptors, has been monitoring the health of raptors on the Washington coast, where Peregrine Falcons stoop on shorebirds feeding along the tideline. He’s looking for mercury and DDT in the birds’ blood systems. Though it has been... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, science

Scott Sees a Peregrine Shoot across the Sky

Scott Brizic, a fifth grader at School in the Woods in Colorado Springs, describes a recent encounter with a Peregrine Falcon: “One day as I sat down outside for lunch, I saw a Peregrine Falcon shoot across the sky . . . I saw it for a split-second, for it was going 200 miles an hour.” read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  listener story, reflection

Falcons, Parrots, The Tree of Life

Scientists have puzzled for centuries over how different groups of birds are related. Did birds that look physically alike, such as falcons and hawks, arise from a common ancestor, or did they reach those similarities independently? This line of inquiry was given an immense boost in recent years... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ornithology, science

Dunlins and Peregrines

In a dramatic and sometimes deadly aerial ballet, a Peregrine Falcon dives on a flock of Dunlins. Seeking escape, the shorebirds flash white and dark, rippling through the sky.  This dance has changed dramatically since the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1973. As the number of peregrines on... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology

Three Worldwide Raptors

Consider three species of raptors: the Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey. They’re on every continent except Antarctica. Each has a specialized hunting prowess distinct from the other. They can fly great distances. And like many birds of prey, they mate for life. The Barn Owl, pictured here,... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology

The Peregrine Falcons of Rome

Falconer Steve Layman has worked closely with raptors for most of his life. And he has a theory that runs counter to what many scientists believe: he says not all predators hunt the weak and diseased. In Rome, for example, Steve observed Peregrine Falcons preying on fit, healthy, and nutritious... read more »

RELATED
Home
Shows
Galleries
More