Welcome to the 2006 "Falcon Flash", news bulletins about the peregrine falcon - fastest creature on earth! We will study and watch one peregrine falcon family during nesting season, approximately late February into June. There has been a nest on the 12th floor of "Tower City" in Cleveland, Ohio for 15 years, and SW and Buckeye, our resident mom and dad falcons, have remained at their nestsite during the cold winter months to guard their valuable territory.
We have a penpal in Cleveland, Mr. Scott Wright, who has been a peregrine falcon nest monitor for 14 years and who sends news and pictures throughout nesting season. In December, we received a report from Mr. Wright that SW had broken off the tip of her beak, and he sent this sad picture.
Our thanks to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for sponsoring the FalconCams.
Thanks to Scott Wright for his expert commentary during nesting season and for his photographs. They may be used in any non-commercial publication, electronic or print, but please give him photo credit.
Here is a picture taken the same day of her mate, Buckeye, that shows how a peregrine’s beak should look.
Dr. Patrick T. Redig, Professor and Director of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, wrote the following to worried falcon fans:
”I expect she'll be okay - should be completely regrown in about 2 - 3 months …… her mate will feed her.”
Mr. Wright returned a month later in January to observe SW and Buckeye and took this picture. Do you think her beak looks better?
There is a lot to learn about these rare birds, and as young scientists, you can study their behavior along with wildlife biologists. Here are SW and Buckeye perched atop the "FalconCams" that offer us an up-close and personal look at the rare peregrines live on the internet. To watch the falcons live go to: http://falconcam.apk.net/ Mr. Wright took this picture just inside the skyscraper that the falcons call home.
If you are new to watching falcons, here is some background. Just 30 years ago, the species peregrine falcon had nearly become extinct in North America because of the use of a pesticide called "DDT". In 1972 DDT was banned in North America and for the next 3 decades scientists and concerned people from all walks of life worked hard to save the species. In 1999 the peregrine falcon was removed from the List of Endangered Species, one of the great success stories in the field of wildlife conservation! The birds are still being monitored and helped by humans to make sure the species continues its recovery. Dr. Redig, who wrote to us about SW’s beak, has worked for decades to save endangered species such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, as well as working with other raptor species. To learn more about the Raptor Center that he directs, visit: http://www.cvm.umn.edu/raptor/home.html
You may think it's winter, but Buckeye and SW are thinking spring, and soon they will begin their annual nesting life-cycle. Courtship, rivalry, survival, new life, parenting - falcons and humans have a lot in common. We hope you will enjoy studying this magnificent species that escaped extinction and now rules city skies. Stay tuned for falcon news.