Peregrine Precision~

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Peregrines dive as if in a dream,
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snatching birds in mid-flight,

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landing to administer the coup de grace.
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Mantling prey on the ground for seconds,

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they soon return to rule the skies!

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Cheers to you from the lightening-fast-Falcons~

Note: Peregrine Falcons are the fastest-moving creatures on earth and have been clocked diving at up to 242 mph!

327 thoughts on “Peregrine Precision~

  1. I am very impressed that you managed to get A photo, let alone a half dozen excellent ones!
    Years ago, when we lived in SC, a peregrine falcon chased a cardinal into one of our sliding doors … knocked itself out and broke the cardinal’s neck – HUGH BANG – I about had a heart attack upon seeing what I thought was a dead peregrine toes up on my deck… I went to get a shovel, but when I returned, both peregrine and cardinal were gone.
    After that, small birds frequently hit that window, but the peregrine never made that mistake a 2nd time … obviously did use the information to its advantage, though.

    • WOW! They are very intelligent and your story affirms this. So they used the glass after that mishap to stun prey. Amazing! I have seen them kill two birds in the air who dropped to the ground. I went to check on the birds who appeared to have broken necks. I did some work around the house and when I went to pick them up, they were gone!! They are incredible stealth fliers!

      • Exactly! That is why I am so impressed that you managed to get six photos! I tried to get a photo of that bird for years – never even captured a blurry tail feather.

  2. A fierce looking beauty! 🙂 Especially in the first two pictures… After some food he/she seems more relaxed, though… or is that only my impression? 😉
    Is the last one the same bird?

    Grts
    Nil

    • Really! Wow! The only time I have found nests was when we were rafting down the Grand Canyon, They nested in the cliffs of the marble canyon and played the jet stream of our raft as we hurtled through the rapids. They are stunning creatures!

    • Yes they are especially amazing to watch flying. We live on a mountain and they plummet from high altitude and snatch birds out of oak trees. Every once in a blue moon, you can see them still, but it is so rare. All the birds, even the hummers are terrified of them.

  3. Beautifully captured – as usual! The peregrines once were on the verge of extinction here in Sweden, but are coming back due to effective work from nature lovers.

  4. We have them in downtown Boise. They were reintroduced in town, but Idaho always had them. There is even a live camera on the Simplot Building where you can watch the babies hatch and grow up.

    • Oh that is so cool. I have never seen where they nest at The Holler. I did see nests on the cliffs of the Grand Canyon when we rafted down it, but those are the only nests I’ve ever seen. I will look for the video from the Simplot Building.

      • Falcons are incredible raptors. The Egyptians trained falcons and used them for falconry and adorned their temples with images of them. Like hummingbirds they are incredible fliers and seem to touch humans on a deeply symbolic level. I can see why a movie featuring falcons would leave such a lasting impression on you~

        • I knew Falcons were fast but had not realized they could fly at speeds over 200 miles an hour…that’s incredible. I learned a lot about letting wild and free creatures be wild and free in their natural environment when I lived in Arizona. When you grow up in rural forests or urban concrete you don’t see wildlife living as it is natural for it to do. In the desert you see everything…nature in the raw. I realized that the day I saw a Roadrunner smash a baby Gambel Quail on a rock…I didn’t intervene…nature can appear to be cruel but the Roadrunner was simply surviving. It was a tremendous lesson to me…to let nature be nature…when human instinct says rush in and save the bird.

          • Yes, it is a quite a learning curve to move from the city or suburbs to a wild place. I thought I made the wrong decision for about a year. I was afraid of the coyote packs, the rattle snakes. the coydogs and the black widow spided. Now I just take precautions, and photos! Living in a wild space is very good for one’s psyche. The wild animals teach you how to live, so I understand exactly what you are saying.

  5. I think you must have made a deal with the bird gods, to so consistently get so close to the various species. Even with a big lens, those are impressive close-ups.

    • It is an amazing story that tells us how close we came to almost annhilating this species. They went from near extinction to now being the most prevalent raptor species in the world. I can see why they made such an impressive comeback, they are perfectly designed for what they do. Perfectly designed for everything except the DDT that almost brought them to extinction.

  6. Incredible images of some incredible raptors here Cindy! These are so up close that I can see the texture in the feathers! I trust you’ve seen the YouTube video of a Peregrine Falcon that dives down and gives a Red-Tailed Hawk a surprise bump from above as the hawk was flying too close to the falcon’s nest. They preform such incredible feats! 😀

      • I think it is the beak, the eyes, and claws that let one know these birds are ones that can take care of themselves, like the eagles, and others like their kind. It is so amazing to see the built in defensiveness these birds and all animals have. With the close up pictures and details seen in them one can appreciate them more I think. They are magnificent creatures.

        • There is something about them that is so impressive, both in the sky, and in their eyes and morphology. I think it may be this sense of supreme mastery of what they they do. They are flying predators. But it is also the look in their eyes of intelligence. I just am blown away my what you said, the magnificence of raptors.

    • Yes, the intelligence shines through doesn’t it! I am always struck by the intelligent eyes that are looking back at me in my camera lens when photographing wild creatures. This is especially true of the raptors. And yes, they are lethal creatures, to animals smaller than us. I can imagine though, in the time of dinosaurs, when flying raptors could easily pick us up and fly us off, how incredibly threatening they would feel to us. This is why birds scatter like buck shot, when falcons are in the air.

    • It is really blueish and quite beautiful. There are different sub-types of peregrine falcons, 14 if I am not mistaken, and there are coloration differences among the sub-types.

  7. I love his color, eyes look intense! Nice fat wings! I sure would not want that bird chasing after me! Gorgeous photos! I sure love your falcons! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  8. Cindy the first photo is my favorite but they are all amazing! You are an amazing wildlife photographer and I appreciate your posts so much. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! We are animals after all, and part of this amazing animal family, the more we recognize our place as part of this family, the better we do, physically, spiritually and psychologically.

  9. Awesome photos, Cindy. A pair of peregrine falcons took up residence in castle ruins to breed near me this summer. It was wonderful to watch – and hear – them.

    • You need to come by The Holler sometime. Of course it is never consistent or predictable, but right now they are flying very close, window level as we live on a mountain, and they are attacking the song birds. They haven’t done this as much in the past. I suspect the prolonged drought in SoCal has made them more desperate.

      • I would love to come to the Holler. I feel for the song birds even though I know it is part of the cycle of life. We had the worst drought this summer then in a long while. However, finally the last few days it has been steady rain so this should help. I will hope some precipitation comes your way soon.

  10. Wow! 242 miles? That’s mind-blowing. The photos and the falcon are stunning. Thank you for this informative comments. I am the forever avid bird lover. <3

    • Thanks my friend, when are they going to bust you out of the joint???? You are entering your 13th day in the hospital now right? How long do they expect this process to take? I loved your spider btw, I took the same type a few days ago. Did you actually bring your camera and laptop in your laminar flow room? If you did, kudos to you. It is something I will now want to do if I can be as resilient as you!

      • Hi Cindy. I’ll probably be in here another two weeks, but possibly as much as five or six weeks. I all depends on how long it takes my immune system to rebuild. I could have my cameras, but they are extra stuff, I don’t need to be messing with. I use my iPhone for photos in the Hospital, and I have my laptop, back drives, and a big drive with all my digital photos. The biggest problem is the super slow Internet speed makes it very challenging to do photo blogs, review other people’s blogs and comment consistently.

        • Yes that is extremely frustrating. Hospitals need to realize that patients there longer term need good connectivity. You know they have it, so there is no reason you shouldn’t. You are a modern patient and they need to learn from you. Blogging about your experience while you are having it is all around win-win, for the people who follow and learn from you, and for you who stays in touch and engaged with your friends and your community. You can give them this feedback in your patient statisfaction surveys. After all, your contentment aids your recovery. I think it is just brilliant that you are doing this. Sounds very smart to use your iphone. Still thinking of you daily my friend and rooting for you. <3

              • There are complaints about all the internet service here. The free WIFI might be better in other areas, but this floor is not good.

                • In the old days, when cell phones were new, you couldn’t use them in a hospital. Supposedly, they interfered with certain pieces of medical equipment. These days, most restrictions are around ICU and surgical units, but vary from hospital to hospital. More often, it’s one where hospitals have uneven WIFI connectivity and who are given priority.

                  • We need to get Timothy priority. He’s blogging during a bone marrow transplant. This is cutting edge and important information for everyone concerned. Hope all is well today Timothy.

                  • Hi David! A rep in the IT dept told me the slow free wifi is on purpose, and she agreed with all my points. She have me file a formal complaint with the complaints department, and we were on the phone for a long telling the issues and suggesting possible solutions for long-term patients.

                    • (I repeated comment (see above) so WP won’t put it in 3 word sentences!) I knew it! I stand ready to assist you Timothy. They are nervous about you blogging while inpatient and saying something they can’t control, and that my friend is censorship. I love the IT rep. He actually told the truth! Thank him for me. I am serious about this issue bugging me and I stand ready to be your advocate. Let me know if I can do anything. Your blogging while undergoing your transplant is very important, both for you documenting your experience, and for us learning and sharing it with you. Cutting you off from your supportive online community while inpatient long-term is cruel and harmful to your peace of mind and recovery. I am licensed psychotherapist and I know this is true. Hang in there my friend. We are all rooting for you! <3

                    • HI Cindy. I think they are more concerned about keeping people, especially the general public, from access inappropriate material. I don’t think they have time to think about what I might say in a blog.

                    • The thing is they probably hadn’t have a patient as active as you, or as connected via internet receiving the kind of treatment you are undergoing. They probably didn’t have anyone complain about the slow wifi. Good that you were able to have a long discussion on possible solutions.

                    • Thanks, David! They said they get lots of complaints, but I’m the rare one to do work and blog.

    • Since WP collapses comments Timothy as they go on, I am posting this here, again, in hopes it won’t be three word sentences!
      I knew it! I stand ready to assist you Timothy. They are nervous about you blogging while inpatient and saying something they can’t control, and that my friend is censorship. I love the IT rep. He actually told the truth! Thank him for me. I am serious about this issue bugging me and I stand ready to be your advocate. Let me know if I can do anything. Your blogging while undergoing your transplant is very important, both for you documenting your experience, and for us learning and sharing it with you. Cutting you off from your supportive online community while inpatient long-term is cruel and harmful to your peace of mind and recovery. I am a licensed psychotherapist and I know this is true. Hang in there my friend. We are all rooting for you!❤

  11. Fantastic pictures. I know how difficult it is to get pictures of birds. They are never still and when they are I don’t have a camera ready. Amazing animals.

      • Then it’s amazing that we do get them on camera sometimes. I was lucky to see a sparrowhawk just outside a window, sitting picking a little bird. That little hawk didn’t see us, so it was amazing to look at the hawk so closely.

    • So glad you like the peregrines! Thank you. I am not daring. I know enough to not get too close to their nests (since I can’t find their nests, this is not a problem), to watch their body language, and not get to close to them and their food! The same rules I follow with people…..Laughing!

  12. These are very beautiful photos, Cindy! I am searching Google myself, but I remember coming across a reference a long time ago about the eyeballs flattening during the dive, and the eye being constructed so that vision was still acute even with the flattening. If I find that, I will let you know.

  13. Cindy, these shots had my mouth hanging wide open. OMG! Incredible beauty and the expressions and the stances you captured are outstanding! Just wow!!! Your talent with a camera blows my mind!!! <3

  14. Gorgeous raptor photos. The AF Academy uses peregrine prairie falcons and gryfalcons in their falconry programs. Here’s an article on their program:

    http://www.usafa.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Display/tabid/1530/Article/428277/academy-falcons-and-falconry.aspx

    One of the more incidents with their falcons is the one that accompanied the football team to a game at Northwestern in Chicago. It sort of got away from the handlers when it spotted a flock of pigeons to feast on. It took them about 4 weeks to recover the raptor. It was sheltering in an abandoned railcar. It was no worse for wear when she returned home, and still fit and trim.

    • This makes perfect sense to me. Falcons are the most amazing fliers on the planet, followed by hummingbirds. I can fully understand how the Air Force would see them as a mascot and symbol. When you consider that wild falcons were almost extinct several decades ago and now are the most populous raptor on the planet, you get a sense of how perfectly they are designed. Amazing about the falcon sheltering in the railcar. I am glad no one hurt him. He may have approached people who could have reacted fearfully. They are such gorgeous creatures. Thank you for the heads up. Fascinating and nice.

      • When that particular falcon was on the lose, she spotted her handlers approaching and found the highest tree to perch in. The academy had told the Chicago Police if they could keep the area sealed off. They did, and four weeks later they got her to respond to her signal to return. I’m sure the falcon probably told the other falcons about the plump pigeons and doves she was dining on.

          • Yes, because she saw all the pigeons and doves. I think that part of the railyard also had plenty of rabbits. The master handler who worked with her initial training had to be called out of retirement to retrieve her. When he gave the command, she came back to his glove on the quick. Upon her return to the academy, they gave some remedial training. When she flew at a football season opener at the academy, everyone held their breath because that summer they had an explosion in the rabbit population. She came back on command w/o problem.

            • That is interesting. She was bonded with her first trainer. That process is so interesting. Did you read the book, “H is for Hawk?” You might find it compelling. It is quite good and is on just this subject.

  15. What a beaut! Love your annotations and didn’t know that about their speed… Wow! I’ve changed my mind about coming back as a cat. Lol… Ssh… Don’t tell my cats that! 😀

  16. Pingback: Peregrine Power | writing to freedom

    • Everything prey sized flees in concentrated panic when a falcon is in the air. Seagulls do too. They can hit at such high speeds in such perfect targeting, that they can eliminate creatures much larger then themselves. They are formidable~

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