Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcons can often be seen in Delta perched on a power-line pole or tree,sometimes on a Hedgerow, from which they make a sudden dart to capture prey. They are clever and adaptable hunters, and are found on every continent except Antarctica.

When diving for prey—called stooping—peregrines tuck their wings in half way and can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph). They often hunt other birds, particularly dunlin, capturing them or stunning them in mid-air.

These falcons can be detected by their dark “mustache” lines running along the sides of their faces, their pointed wings, and their relatively short tail.

Photo by Picture Taker 2

Peregrine Falcons can be found year-round along the west coast, but other populations may migrate up to 25,000 km in one year, one of the longest bird migrations in North America. Historically, they were considered a prize bird amongst falconers, and were used for hunting.

Peregrine Falcons were one of the bird species most affected by organochlorine pesticides, dying due to dieldrin poisoning. In the late 1940’s, the introduction of DDT on agricultural crops caused their egg shells to thin and break during incubation. The resulting population decline was significant enough to make Peregrine Falcons an endangered species.

The banning of certain pesticides in North America, including DDT in Canada and the U.S. in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the success of several re-introduction programs enabled their populations to increase over time. Today, Peregrine Falcon populations in North America are higher, and are continuously monitored for their stability.

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