Whoosh! A grey-and-white streak rushes past you, barely giving you any time to duck and cover! It’s a bird, it’s a plane – oh wait, it’s a bird, but not just any plain-old bird, it’s the Peregrine Falcon! (Not to be confused with the Millennium Falcon, the iconic spaceship from Star Wars.) The Peregrine Falcon (Also known as ‘Duck Hawk’) is one of the most wickedly awesome birds of prey you’ll ever see, and not just because of its barred, steely appearance, a diet consisting of over 2000 different species, and how it’s swiftly adapted to its environment with the ability to hunt soaring, and then snap the spines of its prey with its hooked beak and talons. No, no, there is much more to this raptor than that. Ready? Well, let’s ‘dig’ in.
Starting off with its physical appearance, the Peregrine Falcon is a medium-sized raptor with a stream-lined body measuring 34 to 58 cm in length, and a wingspan measuring 74 to 120 cm. Plus, as well as other birds of prey, the Peregrine Falcon is sexually dimorphic, meaning female ‘Duck Hawks’ may be up to 30% larger than the male! Just compare 424 grams and 910 grams; clearly there’s a big difference in size! In addition to their size, they also have hooked golden beaks and talons, used to crush spines and clutch prey. Generally speaking, most people can recognize the Peregrine Falcon when they see a bird soaring through the air with a black feather-covered head and ‘moustache’. Needless to say, with all of those champion-worthy features, and that barred, steely look, having a Peregrine Falcon glare at you is definitely something you don’t want!
Now, envision yourself chasing someone at 322 km/h. The Peregrine Falcon is built with a need for speed (so well that I highly doubt NASCAR could’ve d...
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...hermore, the Peregrine Falcon has adapted to these environments with curved beak and talons, used for hunting and grasping surfaces with ease. To illustrate, let’s say we have a Peregrine Falcon and it’s talons at the ready. What surfaces will those feet let Duck Hawks perch on? Icy Branch? Check. Dangerous Cliff? Check. Bent lead pipe on top of a skyscraper? Check. For the most part, if you happen to find any high and dangerous areas, be sure look for Peregrine Falcons hanging out; I can almost guarantee you’ll find one.
Ultimately, I think the Peregrine Falcon should have a trophy for “Most Outstanding Bird” due to its many outstanding qualities. As previously stated, its streamlined body shape and long wingspan is built for speed, which just adds to its overwhelming ability to hunt with its powerful beak and talons. Consequently, any prey with a will to live
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