Peregrine Falcons at Wash U School of Medicine, 310813

The crescent moon and the attendant star were still bright when I took the Metrolink train to Central West End Station:

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Here’s the Central West End station, where I alighted:

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Thanks to my birding friend Devin Peipert’s instructions, I left the station, and looked right up at the tops of the buildings near by. And there, in the pre-dawn light, was one of them!

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PEREGRINE FALCONS

are possibly the fastest birds on earth….reaching over 322 km/h (200 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), This makes it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

This pose, sitting and surveying the territory for prey, is so still and deceptive!

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Just like the other fast land animal, the Cheetah, this bird has “tear marks
on its cheeks, leading from its eyes in some specimens.

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In America, they are also called Duck Hawks, giving an indication of their favourite prey. However, in urban areas, their favourite meal seems to consist of Pigeons. Both the English and scientific names of this species mean “wandering falcon”, referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations.

Trying to get a better image of the bird, so high up, I tried increasing the zoom, even though, in the early-morning dawn light, I knew the graininess would increase:

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The other one flew to the top of another building, far above my head:

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Here are two very fast birds of the skies:

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Very soon, they both flew off, and I went off, too.

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Hope to go back and see them again, soon….

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