Baby birds that grow ten times their size at birth in just three weeks? Yes, it’s the amazing Peregrine Falcon, the most widespread bird species in the world. Also, they are known to be the fastest creatures on Earth, since they can reach speeds of up to 320 km per hour as they descend on their prey.
A Peregrine Falcon is a ruthless predator, able to catch ducks and pigeons on the wing. It can kill with a single blow. How does it do it? Speed is the key element – the powerful impact instantly kills the prey.
It might sound strange, but this raptor makes nests not only on high cliffs in the heart of nature, but also on skyscrapers, bridges, electricity towers and even church towers.
Have you wondered what the word “peregrine” means? It derives from the Latin meaning “wanderer”. True to its name, this bird migrates to South America in winter, flying up to 25,000 km per year.
Concerns have been raised due to the tremendous population crash among falcons, notably between 1950-1970. DDT pesticide usage, illegal hunting and habitat loss were the main reasons it was declared an endangered species in North America. Great efforts have been made to re-establish the Peregrine Falcon populations. Nowadays, growing awareness has led to a decrease in the use of dangerous pesticides, resulting in a revival of this falcon’s fortunes and it’s no longer on the list of endangered species. It’s even thought that in some areas of the world, there has been an increase in the population of the peregrine falcon.
Maybe the Peregrine Falcon’s revival suggest there is hope and teaches us that we have the power to help nature regain its lost “children”.