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Peregrine falcons        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Peregrines are probably the fastest of all animals under their own power; in a dive they can exceed 200 mph (320 km/h).   They have broad-based, sharply- pointed wings that beat stiffly and rapidly, and a robust, powerful shape that is noticeably 'beefier' than that of their slimmer relative, the similar-sized prairie falcon.   Like several other raptors, peregrines were hard-hit by pesticide contamination in the 1960s and 1970s, but have now pretty much recovered (notably, with the help of captive rearing projects managed by The Peregrine Fund).   Adults are dark slate-blue above and barred below; juveniles are brownish above and streaked below; at all ages, peregrines have a dark 'helmet' that permits identification at long distances.   These were nesting just north of the 'Cove' in La Jolla, California; the photos were taken in early May.
           A particularly memorable encounter with a female peregrine is pictured here; photos of a pair in Torrey Pines State Park are here, other peregrine photos are here, here, and here; peregrines with prey are here, here, here, here, and here.

  • Canon 7D2; 800 mm IS lens, some with 1.4X converter, some with fill-in flash (2016)