Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Peregrine Falcon

We photograped two Peregrine Falcons at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on 30 November 2019. These birds seem to be a pair. As in many raptors, females are larger than males—in Peregrine Falcons, the sexes hardly overlap in size. The bird on the left is clearly the smaller male. One hypothesis is that this size difference keeps aggressive males under control. Peregrine Falcons have an almost world-wide distribution. Three races of Peregrine Falcons breed across North America. Judging by their dark-hooded heads that lack a thin “mustache” stripe under their eyes, I suspect these birds are one of the western races. The situation is a bit complicated. In the 1900s, pesticide poisoning wiped out most of the eastern Peregrine Falcons. Reintroduction programs are restoring many of these populations. But the restoration efforts were made with western birds, so now determining origins of Peregrine Falcons is problematic. These falcons are quite different from the Peregrine Falcon image we recently posted in our blog—

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