Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peregrine Falcon/ Vandrefalk

Falco peregrinus

A peregrine falcon on top of a chimney by a harbour.

History in short:
The most highly evolved of the falcons is the peregrine. It is a large falcon, but unlike the gyrfalcon the peregrine takes almost all of its prey out of the sky. The peregrine was a favourite of falconers and the most frequently bird used for falconry. It was not only easily trained, but provided the most daring spectacle. It circles high overhead, waiting for the quarry to be flushed, then dive for it at high speeds. In locations where the main quarry was wild fowl, it was sometimes called "hawk of the river". The peregrine was found all over Europe.

The Peregrine falcon's maximum speed:

Speed is the falcon's forte. If birds of prey were airplanes, then the eagles, the buzzards, the kites would be the gliders, and the falcons would be the jets. Estimates of the maximum speed of a falcon dive are as fast as 273 miles an hour (440 km/h) based on analysis of motion-picture footage of a falcon in full vertical dive taken by the Naval Research Laboratory in England in WWII. Most biologists, however, estimate the falcon's maximum velocity at 150 to 200 miles an hour ( 240 to 320 km/h), which is still faster than any other animal on earth.

See my article about Falconry in the Middle Ages.

photo 101008: stig bachmann nielsen,
Naturplan Foto


Geraldo Maia said...

Hello Thyra,
It is a great pleasure to visit your nice and interesting blog for the first time.
Best wishes from Brazil:

Thyra said...

Hello Geraldo!
Thanks for nice comment.
I have just visited your blog.
Great surfing photos.
Best wishes from Denmark